Land Rover sponsors launch of Sports Illustrated?s SI.com app

Land Rover has signed on as the official launch sponsor of Sports Illustrated?s SI.com application for Apple?s iPhone, iPod touch and Research In Motion?s BlackBerry.

Branding for the automaker will be featured on the homepage and throughout the application. Sports Illustrated partnered with Polar Mobile for the creation of the application.

?Land Rover is the official launch sponsor and Sports Illustrated hopes to have other brands see the value in the app and advertise as well,? said Andrew Hoffman, director of client marketing at Sports Illustrated, New York. ?While iPhone is more consumer-interfaced, BlackBerry seems to be more business focused.

?Each demographic is important to Sports Illustrated as they continue to reach their target audience of young working professionals,? he said. ?Land Rover can reach their target consumer by advertising on the Sports Illustrated?s SI.com free application.

?Mobile extension is another platform for Land Rover to reach their targeted consumer.?

Land Rover is a 4x4, SUV and all-terrain vehicle manufacturer based in Solihull, West Midlands, Britain. It is now operated as part of the Jaguar Land Rover business owned by Tata Motors of India.

Land Rover is a veteran of mobile advertising, having partnered with Quattro Wireless (see story), Netbiscuits (see story) and AdMob (see story) for past campaigns.

Sports Illustrated is an American sports magazine owned by media conglomerate Time Warner. It has more than 3 million subscribers and is read by 23 million adults each week, including 18 million-plus men.

Previously, Sports Illustrated launched an application for Microsoft?s Windows Mobile (see story) and tapped Viva Vision for a swimsuit slideshow available on various carrier decks (see story).

Recently, Sports Illustrated included a 2D-bar-code call-to-action in its Swimsuit Vault print issue (see story).

Launched today, Sports Illustrated?s SI.com free application for the iPhone, iPod touch and all BlackBerry devices delivers sports fans breaking sports news, the latest rumors, scores, statistics and Sports Illustrated's editorial content.

The release of this application serves as the latest mobile extension of the Sports Illustrated/SI.com franchise, which across all platforms reaches more than 26 million sports fans weekly.

The customizable application lets users select specific teams and sports they wish to follow.

As a result, breaking news related to the specific teams or sports will ignite a blinking icon alert.

Further landing pages will cull the latest news and information on the chosen teams and sports.

Articles from Sports Illustrated writers such as Peter King, Tom Verducci, Seth Davis, Joe Posnanski, Jon Heyman and others will be featured on a daily basis, all of which can be can be shared via email and social platforms such as Twitter and Delicious.

Sports Illustrated's Truth & Rumors franchise featuring the latest sports buzz will be among the featured content in this new application.

The application also features the latest information, scores and standings from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college basketball and college football, as well as news and commentary on soccer, NASCAR, tennis, boxing, horse racing, Olympics and cycling.

Sports Illustrated's photography will be featured throughout the application and will be updated regularly with new galleries.

Users can also switch to text view to eliminate images and allow for even faster navigation through sections and headlines.

Sports Illustrated is currently offering standard MMA ad units within the application and the publisher is looking into mobile rich-media units as well.

The company is running a promotional marketing and PR campaign to promote the application.

Ads will run both in Sports Illustrated and on SI.com. As for its mobile Web presence, mobile ads are also present on Sports Illustrated's WAP site.

?Sports Illustrated wanted to be able to give Sports Illustrated content a better user interface to their audience through a mobile app for both the iPhone and BlackBerry,? Mr. Hoffman said.