A publisher is responsible for reporting to his "stockholders"—i.e., the readers—an occasional item on the business side of the ledger; and so recently I mentioned to you SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S flourishing circulation figure, which today stands at 575,000 weekly, a robust 28% over our starting point.
On the subject of advertising, I think you will be interested to know that SI's average number of advertising pages during its first six months has been higher than that of any other infant weekly, with the exception of LIFE. (In TIME'S first six months, its average was five pages a week; The New Yorker, six pages; U.S. News & World Report, eight pages. LIFE averaged 24. SI has averaged between 14 and 15.)
Perhaps you have noticed some of our own ads in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, directed not at our readers as consumers but at those of our readers who are members of the advertising profession.
When we describe our readership in these ads as "lively," "style-wise," "pace-setting," "young and successful," we are using the most direct words we know to say something nice and if not personally, then statistically, real about you as an extraordinarily receptive consumer audience.
April 4, 1955
Statistics, of course, can hardly account for all the wonderful things that happen in the name of sport: the excitement of a 10th-frame strike, or of the big one that hits the plug the moment you've decided to call it a day; the grass that grows green on a thousand fairways every spring...or the kindred feelings that bring 575,000 young (and young-at-heart) reader-families together each week over the pages of this magazine.
But in truth, statistics do reveal that as a whole, "successful young families" describes our readers most faithfully.
For instance, 75% of you are married. More than a third of you are owners, executives and managers of business. Considerably more than half of you have a college education. Your median age is 38. SI's families have a median annual income of $7,846, more than twice the U.S. figure. Almost two-thirds of you own your homes, and collectively you occupy one out of every six homes in the U.S. valued at $20,000 and more. And finally, 92% of SI's families own automobiles, and more than a fourth own two or more.
But averages aside, you are, first and foremost, people who enjoy reading about the wonderful world of sport in a magazine which is, above all things, interested in sport.
In essence, what we've been telling advertisers is that they couldn't want to meet a better crowd of people.