The Body Issue
Best-selling of six alternative covers of ESPN The Magazine's original Body Issue in 2009 featuring Serena Williams
|First issue||October 9, 2009|
|Website||ESPN The Magazine|
The Body Issue is an edition of ESPN The Magazine that featured over 30 athletes in nude and semi-nude photographs. It reached newsstands on October 9, 2009. It attempts to rival Sports Illustrated′s Swimsuit Issue. The issue was a response to the decline in advertising spending resulting from the financial crisis of 2007–2010 and late-2000s recession that saw a 24% decline in ad revenues for the first six months of 2009 compared to the same six-month period in 2008.
The 2009 edition had six alternative covers featuring Serena Williams (tennis), Carl Edwards (NASCAR), Adrian Peterson (NFL), Dwight Howard (NBA), Gina Carano (mixed martial arts) and Sarah Reinertsen (triathlons). The Serena Williams edition sold the most copies. The 2009 issue was a financial success, achieving double the normal edition sales, greater sales than any bi-weekly issue in over two years, and 35% more ad sales than comparable issues, which led to plans for extended marketing of the 2010 edition.
The edition included the regular sports coverage. In the bodies section athletes were featured on and off the field. Even a picture during a knee surgery was included. The "Bodies We Want" section was a feature of the best bodies in the world of sports all posed nude but with strategic coverage of private parts. Another section showed the damage done to the human body in athletics such as Laird Hamilton's cracked heel and Torry Holt's crooked middle finger. One action photo captured six members of Major League Soccer's D.C. United simulating a free kick defensive wall while covering their genitalia.
- Tennis: Williams, James Blake
- NFL: Peterson, Casey Hampton, Torry Holt
- NBA/WNBA: Howard, Cappie Pondexter
- Major League Baseball: Nelson Cruz, Joba Chamberlain and Ivan Rodriguez
- NHL: Zdeno Chara, Christopher Higgins, Sheldon Souray, Bill Guerin, Mike Komisarek
- NASCAR: Edwards, Mark Martin
- Olympics: Jessica Mendoza, Susan Francia, Shawn Johnson, Allison Baver, Johnny Weir, Cheryl Haworth
- Boxing: Manny Pacquiao
- LPGA: Christina Kim, Sandra Gal, Anna Grzebien
- Mixed martial arts: Carano, Randy Couture
- Surfing: Claire Bevilacqua; Laird Hamilton
- Soccer: Natasha Kai, Chris Pontius, Bryan Namoff, Clyde Simms
- Skiing: Kristi Leskinen, Julia Mancuso
- Track and field: Lolo Jones, Michelle Carter
- Horse racing: Alexis Solis.
WNBA star Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury was one of the athletes featured on the various covers. Other athletes that appeared on different covers included Amare Stoudamire, the USA Women's Water Polo team, Esther Vergeer and Camilo Villegas. The 2010 edition included the following:
The 2012 issue featured the following athletes:
- Thomson, Katherine (2009-10-06 (updated 2009-10-20)). "ESPN's 'Body Issue' Of Naked Athletes (PHOTOS): Serena Williams, Dwight Howard, Adrian Peterson, More Pose Nude (PICTURES)". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- Clifford, Stephanie (2009-10-12). "Special Issues a Bright Spot for Magazines". The New York Times. p. B1. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
- La Monica, Mark (2009-10-09). "ESPN 'The Body Issue' magazine covers". Newsday. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- Rovell, Darren (2009-11-30). "ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue: A Financial Success". CNBC. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- McCarthy, Michael (2009-09-30). "First look: In ESPN's magazine, showing skin is no issue". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- Steinberg, Dan (2009-10-08). "United's Nude Awakening". The Washington Post Company. Retrieved 2009-12-03.
- Snyder, Whitney (2010-10-07). "ESPN 'Body Issue' PHOTOS: Naked Athletes Amare Stoudemire, Diana Taurasi & More". Huffington Post.
- "Galleries / The Body Issue / October 17, 2011 Hope Solo". ESPN the Magazine. 2011-010-17. Retrieved 2011-10-05.
- "ESPN The Magazine Body Issue - ESPN". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
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