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Tuesday, Feb. 12 2008

Supermodel Marisa Miller Adorns the Cover of the 2008 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue on Newsstands Today!


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NEW YORK, Feb 12, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The highly anticipated 2008 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue featuring cover model Marisa Miller hits newsstands today. The annual winter spectacular features 19 of the most glamorous supermodels pictured in visually dynamic photo spreads, all set in unique and exotic locations from around the world. A rare and powerful combination of beauty and imagination, the SI Swimsuit franchise is the gold standard in publishing, this year's issue will be read by a global audience of 69 million people and there will be more than 250 million page views on SI.com/swimsuit.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080212/NYTU058 )

A seven-year veteran of the Swimsuit Issue, Miller makes her first cover appearance in a photo taken by Raphael Mazzucco during a two-day shoot on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, last October. Joining Miller in the issue are several other swimsuit favorites, such as Brooklyn Decker, Selita Ebanks, Bar Refaeli, Tori Praver, Daniella Sarahyba, Irina Shayk, Anne V and Jessica White each featured in unique pictorial essays.

NFL Cheerleaders make their debut in Swimsuit 2008 and the wildly popular bodypainting masterpieces return for the 10th time. Look for Will Ferrell in character as Jackie Moon from his new movie Semi-Pro together with Heidi Klum in a raucous treatment. IRL sensation and "Traffic Stopper" Danica Patrick makes her Swimsuit debut and yes, athletes wives show it off again!

"This is a visually powerful issue with numerous surprises that underlines the very best of the Swimsuit issue heritage," says Terry McDonell, Editor, Sports Illustrated Group. "Creative Director Steve Hoffman, Swimsuit Editor Diane Smith and Senior Editor Chris Stone have topped themselves blending the tradition of the Swimsuit franchise with new themes and treatments that are spectacular."

The Cover Unveil: The unveiling of the Swimsuit cover model has become a signature moment in popular culture since 1995. Immediately after the conclusion of the Super Bowl the countdown begins toward the Swimsuit launch when the world learns the identity of the new cover model. Last night the issue's cover was revealed by David Letterman during The Late Show as a three- story billboard featuring Miller's cover was unveiled to a nationwide TV audience. Additionally, thousands gathered at "Cover Reveal Viewing Parties" held at over 100 locations around the country.

Swimsuit Digital: In conjunction with the magazine's release, the SI Digital Group launched a multimedia engine on SI.com/swimsuit last evening. "Every model, every shoot with video" is the motto of SI.com's behind-the- scenes coverage which comprises more than 60 video clips totaling over 100 minutes of video including footage from all 19 supermodels, NFL Cheerleaders, Danica Patrick and athletes wives' shoots.

Additionally, one can read model diaries, watch hilarious footage from the Ferrell/Klum shoot as well as view seven one-woman acts entitled Before They Were Models. In these vignettes, the models perform improv scenes from their previous (fictitious) lives. If all of this video doesn't satisfy your fix, Swimsuit fans can create their own highlight reel through the new "SI Video Mash-up" feature which allows users to take online clips from each of the dozen swimsuit photo shoots and edit them into a 45-second movie with music.

The site will also include over 1,500 exclusive photos, a body painting feature, cover galleries, a digital calendar download and archives of past issues as well.

Inside the 2008 SI Swimsuit Issue:

From Russia With Love: SI ventured to Russia and spent six days with Russian-born models - Anne V and Irina Shayk. The photo shoots also took place in and around St. Petersburg at a number of locations including: Grand Hotel Europe, the Ice Breaker Crasin, Russian Standard Vodka distillery and the Avtovo Russian Circus. The models were photographed wearing the Ponahalo diamond necklace, a 295-(total) carat necklace valued at $14 million, the most expensive item in the issue.

At Home with Bar: Another first: SI spent 10 days with supermodel Bar Refaeli in her native Israel, where she was joined by Julie Henderson, Brooklyn Decker and Jessica Gomes in Caesarea, 25 miles north of Tel Aviv, and at the Dead Sea.

A Record Number of Rookies: Seven rookies debut in this year's issue: Quiana Grant, Jessica Gomes, Melissa Haro, Yasmin Brunet, Melissa Baker, Jeisa Chiminazzo and Jarah Mariano. Models aren't the only ones making a Swimsuit debut. Behind the camera, four new photographers joined SI's lineup: Thomas Sewell, Ben Watts, Marlena Bielinska and Paulo Sutch.

Will Ferrell as Semi-Pro Star Jackie Moon: SI gets Tropical with Semi-Pro star Will Ferrell as Heidi Klum crashes the set of the upcoming hoops flick, spending a day and night in the life of Jackie Moon (played by Ferrell- player, coach and owner of a beloved '70s ABA team, the Flint Tropics. Jackie is one part Auerbach and nine parts Hefner, which makes him irresistible to a certain Swimsuit model.

Bodypainting is Back for the 10th year: Bodypaint artist Joanne Gair has sprayed and brushed swimsuits on some of the world's most beautiful women for SI since 1999. This year Gair produced her masterpieces in Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos, on the canvases of cover model Marisa Miller, Jessica Gomes, Tori Praver and Quiana Grant.

Danica Patrick Meets Dan Patrick: Danica Patrick's splashy debut in the Swimsuit Issue is a full-throttle four-page spread set in Singer Island, Florida. But not only did she spend time in front of the camera, Patrick is also featured in a full-page Q&A with none other than Dan Patrick- who recently made his debut on the pages of SI as a senior writer and weekly columnist.

NFL Cheerleaders: Swimsuit 2008 will include 12 NFL Cheerleaders in a fun four-page treatment. This marks the first time NFL Cheerleaders have been featured in the issue. Teams represented include the Buccaneers, Chargers, Cowboys, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Jaguars, Patriots, Raiders, Redskins and Texans.

Athletes Wives Return: Four famous players kindly get out of the way for their better halves. Featured are: Ingrid Vandebosch (Jeff Gordon), La La Vazquez (fiancee, Carmelo Anthony; she did her shoot just four months after giving birth); Carmella Garcia (Jeff Garcia); and Michelle Damon (Johnny Damon).

Swimsuit Goes Global: In addition to its vast U.S. readership, the 2008 SI Swimsuit Issue will be distributed in more than 10 foreign countries, including China, Czech Republic, Greece, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain and Taiwan.

Swimsuit on TV: The 2008 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Special premieres on TNT this Saturday, February 16, at 11 p.m. ET. The special, hosted by Brooklyn Decker, takes an exciting behind-the-scenes look at the making of the issue. A home DVD version of the program, with bonus footage and exclusive access to the photo shoots, retails for $9.99.

                                     -SI-
    2008 SI SWIMSUIT MODELS               PHOTOGRAPHERS
    Marisa Miller                         Steve Erle
    Melissa Baker                         Walter Iooss (Yo - sss)
    Ana Beatriz Barros                    Stewart Shining
    Yasmin Brunet - (Yas - mean)          Thomas Sewell (Sue - el)
    Jeisa Chiminazzo - (Ji - e- sa)       Paulo Sutch
    Brooklyn Decker                       Ben Watts
    Jessica Gomes - (Go - mms)            Antoine Verglas
    Quiana Grant - (Key - on - a)         Marlena Bielinska (Bell - Lin - Ska)
    Melissa Haro                          Brian Lovely
    Julie Henderson                       Andrew Macphers
    Jarah Mariano - (Jar - a)
    Oluchi Onweagba - (oh-LOO-chee  on-way-OG-buh)
    Tori Praver - (Pray - ver)
    Bar Refaeli - (Ra - fii - l - e)
    Daniella Sarahyba - (dan-YELL-uh  sara-YEE-buh)
    Irina - (eh-REE-nuh)
    Anne V
    Jessica White

SOURCE Sports Illustrated

http://www.SI.com
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