The Super Bowl is over, the NBA and NHL regular seasons are winding (the playoffs go on through June), and baseball season is just around the corner. So what do horny, die-hard sports fans do for excitement in the middle of the long, cold winter? Sports Illustrated solved that problem years ago when it created it's annual swimsuit issue which has become the largest selling issue of any magazine annually.
Check out this year's issue here
Sports Illustrated created an annual event that rivals the Super Bowl. The buzz created by this seductive issue generates millions of dollars in revenue and infuriates as many readers as it pleases. It's fun to read the readers comments in coming weeks as you have many begging for more while others are canceling their subscriptions because of the provocative pictures.
It's interesting that women seem to love and hate this issue as much as the men do (actually I rarely see men complaining about the content of this issue). Some women say they love the change of pace for Sports Illustrated while other women are downright pissed off. This issue definitely generates a vibrant conversation in the reader community.
Sports Illustrated has turned it into a year-long profit generator by creating videos and calendars as well as a full length movie of the photo shoots. Like all successful products or events, they're milking it for every penny they can.
Now you see other companies creating annual events to hopefully create a buzz that keeps their name in front of their customers. Victoria's Secret has their annual fashion show, college basketball has levered their playoffs as March Madness, and of course the NFL's Super Bowl.
Do you have an annual event for your business? Obviously it doesn't have to be as elaborate as the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue but an annual customer appreciation event can do wonders for creating loyal customers.