After we heard about this magazine, we figured we should pick up a copy just in case this magazine meets the same fate that as the Chinese Rolling Stone. Flipping through the articles, we see that the cover is Yao Ming and that the magazine, while having snippets of other stuff, is fairly basketball heavy this issue, no doubt because of the FIBA competition currently being held in Japan. Aside from pieces on Yao Ming and teammates Wang Zhizhi and Yi Jianlian, there are also pieces on Lebron James and the US basketball team.
There are the obligatory pieces on Liu Xiang, Tiger Woods, Kong Linghui (the table tennis player who was caught
drinking driving under the influence) and Andre Agassi. We liked the Agassi piece because it talks about this special point in Agassi’s life and career — and has great pictures from early in his career, when fashion faux pas abounded (in one picture he has butt-rock longish hair, a headband, a 5 o’clock shadow, yellow blazer, white shirt, modernist necktie and red flannel shorts/boxers). This article is among those that were translated from English.
Also interesting was a hefty piece on how NFL (American football) players are increasingly turning to yoga for greater strength and flexibility.
The magazine closes with snippets from football leagues around the world and F1 racing.
It might not be cutting-edge sports journalism (then again, we wouldn’t know what that was even if it was staring us in the face), but the presentation is, well, decent. The “Illustrated” half of the title ensures that you are getting some decent photographs for the 10 RMB price of the magazine. While there are ads, they aren’t so many as to be distracting — it’s fairly content heavy on the whole.
We don’t know that much about the sports magazine business in China, but from casual glances at the stands we’ve seen that there aren’t a whole lot of high quality, glossy mags. SI shouldn’t have a problem cornering a satisfactory share of the market. The next issue is due out September 15.