Sports Illustrated puts fans on magazine cover, tags their Twitter @usernames online

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Sports Illustrated (@SInow) is using Twitter to connect with the fans featured on its March Madness magazine covers.

On each of the six regional covers of its NCAA Tournament Preview Part II edition, SI surrounded a star player with two dozen or so fans. Now, SI is letting those fans put their names — or, rather, their Twitter @usernames — out there. Any fan on a cover who tweets with the hashtag #SICoverStar will have his or her username tagged on the covers online.

This is the second consecutive year that SI has tagged fans’ Twitter usernames on its March Madness preview covers.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to merge our print product, website and social platforms. This campaign allowed us to do just that,” said Joey Maestas (@SportsJoey), SI’s social media director. “By encouraging reader interaction we are making the fans an equal part of the March Madness story.”

Since the release of the covers on Tuesday evening, the lucky fans have tweeted about their newfound cover stardom to share their excitement and get tagged at

Maestas said that a smaller school like Wichita State has been making as much “social noise” as the larger schools. A Wichita State fraternity even sent Maestas a Tweet with the #SICoverStar hashtag and an image of the cover highlighting the fraternity members’ Twitter usernames:

Twitter has become the centerpiece at the table of college sports.

— Joey Maestas@SportsJoeySocial Media Director, Sports Illustrated

“Whether you’re a player, a coach, fan, alumni or media member you will be tweeting about the tournament,” Maestas said. ”I saw this campaign as a perfect opportunity for Sports Illustrated to become part of the conversation on Twitter.”

Do you know of other innovative uses of Twitter? Write to [email protected].