As SI Group Teams With Fox Sports, Wired Vet Mark McClusky Named Digital Editor
Award-winning journalist Mark McClusky has been named new Digital Editor for Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated Group. He joins the SI Group from Wired, where as Wired.com Editor he achieved record traffic and garnered several top industry honors, and as Head of Operations overseeing product, business and audience development he delivered initiatives and product extensions.
McClusky will shape the digital strategy for Sports Illustrated, Golf, SI Kids and SI Swimsuit, including oversight of their digital news gathering operations, social and video teams. He will also orchestrate deeper collaboration and cross-brand initiatives throughout the company, including on a daily basis with the FanSided Network and SI Play and SI Group partners Fox Sports and 120 Sports. He begins on Sept. 26, after relocating from San Francisco, and will report to Time Inc. Sports Group Editorial Director Chris Stone and Time Inc. Digital Director Will Lee.
“Mark is another game-changer for us. He’s a leading-edge innovator—not just from a journalistic and content development standpoint, but also from a product and operational standpoint,” says Stone. “The depth of his knowledge and appreciation for Sports Illustrated, coupled with his proven track record of innovation and change, uniquely positions him to continue SI’s transformation as a leading digital sports voice. We are thrilled.”
McClusky’s appointment is the latest in series of major sports initiatives for Time Inc. and the SI Group, such as the just-announced digital content and ad sales alliance between Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports Digital that links their respective digital sites into a premium sports network that on average is projected to reach approximately 70MM fans per month, which would be No. 2 in sports. Last month new SI.com and SI Play platforms were premiered and for the first half of 2016, FanSided was the fastest growing digital network in sports.
“SI is making incredibly smart, surprising and league-leading moves in the digital space, and makes yet another with Mark’s hire,” says Lee. “He will ignite digital creativity and enterprising thinking not just for our brand, but for the company.”
While Editor for Wired.com (2013-2015) the site posted record traffic and readership numbers and garnered industry recognition for editorial excellence, including eight Webby Awards and three National Magazine Award nominations, two of which were brand-wide nominations for General Excellence (2014, ‘15). McClusky then transitioned to Head of Operations, leading product, technology, audience and business development for the entire brand, a role he held until joining SI. In that capacity he spearheaded a groundbreaking initiative to offer ad-blocking users an ad-free subscription to Wired.com; led a first-of-its-kind editorial partnership between Wired and SI about the future of football; and developed the brand’s expansion across emerging platforms, such as Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP. He was also editor of the newsstand-only Wired Test magazines and created Playbook, its sports technology blog.
“There’s never been a better time to be a sports fan, and there’s never been more of a need for the high-impact stories that Sports Illustrated tells better than anyone else,” says McClusky. “With innovation and smart investment the SI Group is well-positioned to deliver these stories across the booming digital universe. I can’t wait to help the team push the boundaries of content creation to build on its momentum and deliver new experiences to sports fans everywhere.”
This is also a return to SI for McClusky, who began his career as a reporter at the magazine. He was one of the founding editors of Sports Illustrated’s website and also a staffer for Sports Illustrated Olympic Daily, the magazine’s publication at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. He then went on to senior editorial roles as editor at Mobile PC magazine and Editor in Chief of EA.com.
He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science is Creating a New Generation of Superathletes, and What We Can Learn from Them, published in 2014, and his magazine writing has been featured in The Best American Science and Nature Writing series. McClusky has also spoken broadly on sports science and technology, including at South by Southwest and the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference.