Sports Illustrated And Total Sports Launch Book Publishing Entity

Posted on May 3, 1999

Sports Illustrated and Total Sports have announced the launch of a new joint book publishing venture to be called Total/Sports Illustrated, creating what they believe will be the most focused and effective sports publishing entity in the industry.

Total/Sports Illustrated represents the joining of two established sports information brands. Sports Illustrated, the most widely read sports news magazine in the nation, boasts a weekly readership of nearly 25 million. Total Sports is a leading online and print sports information company and the first new media company to cybercast live sporting events on the Internet. Total Sports currently maintains over 40 websites and has cybercast more than 4,000 live events over the past three years.

Both companies bring book publishing experience to the table. Sports Illustrated has published books for five decades, both for the general book trade and through in-house direct response channels. Trade distribution has been handled by a number of different partners, including, on occasion, Time Inc. corporate siblings Warner Books and Little, Brown. Sports Illustrated has also published books which were used exclusively as advertiser and subscriber premiums. Total Sports has published 21 titles since 1997, including highly regarded sports pictorial volumes, almanacs and encyclopedias such as Total Baseball, Total Hockey, and Total Football, the official encyclopedias of the MLB, NHL, and NFL, respectively.

By comparison, Total/Sports Illustrated will publish 20-30 titles a year, representing a full and diverse range of sports-related books, including literary nonfiction, biography, reference, illustrated coffee table books, compilations, instructional volumes, and reissues of sports classics, among others. The first T/SI list includes such titles as Twentieth Century Sports, a collection of the greatest sports photographs from the archives of Sports Illustrated and the Associated Press; 12 Leadership Principles of Dean Smith, by legendary University of North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith with David Chadwick; and Smoke: The Romance of Cuban Baseball, by Peter Bjarkman and Mark Rucker. Distribution will be handled exclusively by Publishers Group West.

"We have taken two highly regarded sports publishing brands and created what I hope will be the #1 sports book publishing entity in the country," said Stanley Weil, Director of New Product Development for Sports Illustrated. "For almost 45 years magazine readers have turned to Sports Illustrated as the most credible and authoritative voice for sports news and information. I expect the same will soon be true for book readers with respect to Total/Sports Illustrated."