[January 24, 2024] There is a saying about what happens to companies that adopt extreme progressive values. We’ve all heard it. “Go woke, go broke.” There has been much talk about this ever since Bud Light tanked after pandering to the woke and transgender crowd early last year. This disaster is a reality for businesses that opt to show off their woke politics. The latest is Sports Illustrated, which laid off nearly all its publication staff.
Sports Illustrated has been around since its founding in 1954 by Stuart Scheftel. It was the first magazine with a circulation of over one million and won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. So how could this iconic magazine fail and fail so spectacularly?
Of course, the progressive news media lacked openness, so we go to X (formally Twitter) for a more humorous and sometimes truthful take on SI’s fall from grace. Various commentators suggested that their failure had much to do with the direction new management had taken from four years ago.
“I wonder why Sports Illustrated went broke … they featured obese women and a man who dressed up as a woman.” – Libs of TikTok.
Even NPR, a hyper-liberal organization, admitted that “Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue has a Trans model on the Cover for the 1st Time.” A trans-woman on the cover created a major uproar in 2021 when this edition came out, and since it was such a “success,” they did it again in 2023. And, of course, they started putting obese women on the cover as well.
Not only were these bad choices, but they also stopped accepting advertising money from those who weren’t on board with their radical, woke agenda. This behavior is a guaranteed way to fail when you do accept money to keep your magazine afloat. Adweek wrote, “Only serious ‘change makers’ will get to do business with the legacy platform [meaning SI].”
Other bad leadership decisions led some, like the tech site Futurism, to accuse the publication of using AI-generated content that included bylines and photographs of fake authors. SI appeared to be rudderless since The Arean Group fired CEO Ross Levinsohn last month, according to a New York Post article.
It looks like Sports Illustrated played themselves. Now they’re walking … out the door.
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