The subject of Sports Illustrated’s latest digital documentary is none other than Caitlyn Jenner.
On June 6, Sports Illustrated Films will debut a long-form digital documentary, 40 Years After Gold, that covers Jenner’s gold-medal-winning decathalon performance at the Montreal Olympic Games, the legacy from her performance and the impact on her journey as a transgender woman in the public eye.
Following the digital doc, which will be available for free on Sports Illustrated’s web site, Jenner will appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine June 8.
The special on Jenner is the latest in a series of exclusive digital profiles by Sports Illustrated, which is owned by Time Inc. In May, Argentenian footballer Lionel Messi was the subject of another digital production and cover story, and, later this year, Sports Illustrated will give baseball legend Ken Griffey, Jr. the same treatment. It also recently rolled out the animated short film Dear Basketball based on former NBA star Kobe Bryant’s poem of the same name across its digital platforms.
Time launched Sports Illustrated Films in late 2015 to create short and long-form content for distribution across digital, OTT and linear, and to expand on the brand’s digital presence. Earlier in 2015, Sports Illustrated purchased the FanSided blog network, which consists of more than 300 sports fan sites, and launched the campus football blog Campus Rush.
It’s hard to deny the social power that Jenner can leverage for the Sports Illustrated brand. The athlete and TV personality has been the center of global media attention ever since she came out as transgender in 2015 — with the now-famous Vanity Fair cover on which she made her debut as Caitlyn hitting the shelves exactly one year ago.
She starred in the reality series I Am Cait documenting her transition (although the series’ ratings have dipped since the start of its second season, with rumors of an impending cancellation) and was named one of Glamour magazine’s women of the year for 2015, resulting in both praise and backlash toward the magazine. Despite her controversy, Jenner’s social presence is huge, boasting nearly four million Twitter followers and 1.5 million fans on Facebook.