Did you hear? Your summer vacation plans for the next decade or so have been set, because it was announced today that Sports Illustrated plans to build a vacation resort in D’Iberville, Mississippi.
Why the hell would Sports Illustrated build a resort in Mississippi, or anywhere else, for that matter? is a question that may have just raced through your head. To which I say: What’s your problem, man? Oh what, you think that a legacy sports publication that has been struggling to stay afloat for some years now should find better ways to spend its money and cachet than on a vaguely sports-related resort project that will cost $410 million to build? What kind of business mindset is that? Have you ever even tried to disrupt and innovate in the experiential hospitality sector? And don’t you dare ask, OK, fine, even if they build this thing, who the hell is going to pay money to be there? because the answer to that question is obvious: the millions of rabid Sports Illustrated fans who populate this country.
As someone who occasionally reads articles on SI.com for as many minutes as it takes for the layout and ads to heat my laptop to a truly dangerous temperature, I consider myself a member of this dedicated fanbase. As such, I would hate to see Sports Illustrated squander this incredible business idea by just slapping its name on some sort of generic resort experience. I can ride a zipline and go parasailing at any damn resort in the country, but what would get me down to D’Iberville, Miss., every summer until the day I perish is a unique experience specifically tailored to the diehard fans of Sports Illustrated. With that in mind, I have some friendly suggestions regarding what should be featured at this resort.
- The resort staff should keep guests fully immersed in the Sports Illustrated experience at all times. This means that anytime a guest is anywhere on the resort grounds, at least four staffers should be holding up a rotating series of advertisements in front of the guest’s face. It’s everything you love about reading Sports Illustrated, but in the real world!
- Every restaurant in the resort should have two locations. One location will be run by a team of professional cooks and staff, and the other will be run by a collection of amateur morons who have no idea what they are doing. Guests will have no idea if they are eating at the professionally run restaurant or the cheap facsimile, thus further bringing the SI experience to life.
- An interactive experience called Can You Be An NFL Insider? that will allow guests to experience the thrill of being a top-notch NFL reporter. Participating guests will be put in a room for 30 minutes, and will receive a text message from an NFL agent every five minutes. Guests will then race each other to see who can copy and paste the agent’s text message, type “Sources tell me” in front of it, and then send all of that as a tweet the fastest. Whoever sends the most tweets the fastest gets to be the NFL Insider Of The Day!
- Rick Reilly meet and greets! (This will be geared towards older guests who definitely do not know that Rick Reilly no longer works for SI. Reilly isn’t doing much these days, so he should be available.)
- An interactive experience called The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition Empowerment Corner. Placed in every corner of the resort will be a professional bikini model standing on a small pedestal, so that everywhere guests go, they will feel empowered by the presence of these models.
- A rotating collection of some of Sports Illustrated’s most iconic sports photographs. Those are honestly just really nice to look at.
I think we can all agree that this resort will be a “home run” so long as all of my ideas are implemented. I can’t wait to see all of my fellow SI-heads in Mississippi!