Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2017 Breaks Digital Records

The launch of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2017 marks an unprecedented digital success for the brand as it sets new records for video views and engagement across and SI social over its first seven days. Following the reveal of Kate Upton as the 2017 SI Swimsuit cover model last Wednesday, SI videos surpassed 36.5 million views across platforms through the first week.


Not only does this represent an increase of almost 200% over last year’s launch period but it is the best week for SI video views ever. More than 28 million of the views came from SI’s socialaccounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, which is an incredible increase of more than 400% year-over-yearfor social video views. Consumers of SI Swimsuit content on also spent more time on the site and viewed more pages than ever before.

A sustained push of new and diverse Swimsuit content across social platforms is a big reason for this year’s historic launch and in fact, SI Swimsuit accounts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter added more than 50K, 37K and 17.8K followers, respectively. The SI Swimsuit Facebook page alone totaled more than 13 million video views during launch week, including almost three million views of 12 different Facebook Live productions.
Highlights include Kate Upton hosting a panel on body diversity live from her hotel suite with fellow models Aly Raisman, Hailey Clauson, and Sailor Brinkley Cook and a hosted Rookie of the Year reveal live show from the Facebook studios in Manhattan. On Instagram, SI Swimsuit coordinated a digital model tag campaign leading up to the big cover reveal and then shared an exclusive video of Upton backstage at Jimmy Kimmel Live after seeing her covers for the first time, which kicked off a continuous rollout of new content on the platform. SI Swim exceeded four million video views on Instagram during launch week with videos ranging from pre-produced packages to highly successful Boomerang shoots and 180-degree photo shoots from launch party events in New York and Houston.

The launch of the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2017 collection on the microsite also set all-time records for a Swimsuit digital launch in page views and average time spent. Over the first 24 hours of the new content being live, page views topped 90 million (up 202% year-over-year), with mobile-specific page views up +785% YoY. The total reached more than 215.7 million page views through launch week. Engagement was at an all-time high in terms of pages per visit and average time spent by visitors on the site which was more than four minutes.

“These groundbreaking numbers are validation of our strategy to deliver more–and more unique–video and social content to our audiences wherever they might be,” says Mark McClusky, Digital Editor of the Sports Illustrated Group. “The impressive growth and reach of SI Swimsuit speaks to the continued transformation of a franchise that was once known almost exclusively for its print photos into one that has become a cross-platform juggernaut.”

The launch of SI Swimsuit 2017 also included the debut of the first of its kind “What I Model” Instagram video campaign in collaboration with @WomenIRL and Health to celebrate confidence and beauty in all its forms. It has been met with wide praise and videos from the campaign have already totaled millions of views on the platform. The brand teamed up with Snapchat for a Global Live Story, “SI Uncovered,” giving tens of millions of users behind the scenes access to the life of an SI Swimsuit model during launch week and the exclusive VIP launch party in New York. Beyond the unprecedented reach and engagement with SI Swimsuit content across its own platforms, the full cast of SI Swimsuit models—many of them boasting millions of followers each—along with other Time Inc. brands and partners heavily shared and supported this year’s launch to reach billions more people around the world. Other social partnerships and collaborations around the launch of SI Swimsuit 2017 include productions with Facebook and Instagram, exclusive videos from YouTube Influencers and a partnership with Giphy to create hundreds of GIFs searchable by model and topic.

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