Sports Illustrated's cover story written by Jason Collins has made perhaps an even bigger impact than could have initially been expected. The article has touched a populace far beyond the sports world and become a mainstream story with everyone from Kobe Bryant to Barack Obama proclaiming their support. In fact, Collins' piece moved so thoroughly and so quickly across the internet that it became the most trafficked day in SI.com's history according to SBJ's Eric Fisher...
SI.com yesterday recorded its best-ever single day of traffic w Collins news. 3.7M unique visitors.— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) April 30, 2013
SI.com's record day of traffic yesterday beat prior mark from Feb 2010 which had both Swimsuit launch and Winter Olympics— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) April 30, 2013
The first-person narrative featuring Collins coming out as America's first active gay male athlete in major professional sports has stirred the nation. Collins was interviewed on GMA this morning, fellow NBA players and athletes have offered their support, and his heroic words will long be remembered even if his playing days are done.
From the media side, as we talked about on today's podcast with John Koblin, it couldn't come at a better time for Sports Illustrated. The stability and health of the magazine's future is in flux due to a declining industry and the website has been cast aside by CNN.com with Bleacher Report now the favored option. And yet the magazine has responded by building up SI.com with several new blogs and had a series of strong cover stories, culminating in Jason Collins. Yesterday served as a banner day for Sports Illustrated and a sign that the magazine ain't quite done yet.