The Chinese philosopher Confucious is credited with saying:
"To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge."- Confucious
It's oftentimes what separates the "flashes in the pan", from the true greats. The self-awareness/humility to admit when you're over your skis, or don't know as much as somebody else does, and lean on them for help.
I'm not saying that's what Sports Illustrated did in this instance. But I'm not not saying it either.
Exhibit A from my blog two weeks ago today -
Barstool Sports - As a smut blogging/marketing genius, if I'm Sports Illustrated, bordering on the edge of irrelevancy, I make Broncos Cheerleader Berkleigh Wright the winner of this contest, and give her an entire spread. Blow it out with the Broncos, get the weight and leverage of the NFL PR machine behind it and drum up all the publicity you can. And then use that as a springboard to announce and launch a pro/college sports cheerleader feature in EVERY month's issue. 12 girls a year. Not hard to do when you've got the NFL, NBA, and all of the NCAA at your disposal. Throw it back to the basics. Sports + pretty girls is a pretty proven recipe for success. As Dave Portnoy (ever heard of him?) will gladly tell you.
Not to suck our own dicks here or anything, but this isn't exactly rocket science. K.I.S.S. = keep it simple stupid.
You had a formula that was never broken. Why fix it? Stick to the basics of what works and we'll keep coming back.
Granted, did I hedge towards the college cheer angle a little hard, when the athlete one was staring me straight in the face? Yes, that's on me. But I'm still taking this a win because wins are wins. And Sports Illustrated waking up, and giving us Livvy Dunne on Caribbean beaches in one and two pieces is VERY MUCH a win.
Credit where credit is due. Well done, Sports Illustrated.
Now don't fuck up the "Swimsuit Search Finalists" and give us Adison Justis. If you guys need more advice/help, you know where to find me.