How did Sports Illustrated land the LeBron James story?

adage.com Published: July 11, 2014
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While speculation ran rampant about LeBron James' next destination, how did Sports Illustrated get the James announcement Friday?

The Wall Street Journal said that around July 5, James' group indicated to SI that he might be receptive of an idea to publish James' decision in the form of an essay. But the announcement also came down to simply keeping as few people in the know as possible.



“We didn’t program any advertising around it,” said Paul Fichetenbaum, editor of Time Inc.'s sports group. “Part of what we did was keep the circle of people who knew to a bare minimum.”

According to Chris Stone, Sports Illustrated managing editor, only about six SI staff members knew about the piece before it went online.

"The reason we got this story, I think, is because Lebron's team trusted us not to turn it into a circus," Stone explained to Adage.com. "So to parlay it into a commercial endeavor ahead of time would have been inappropriate."

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