The SI-ification of Detroit

The city of Detroit and the Tigers in particular are about to receive some big time attention from Sports Illustrated as the featured story in the September 28th edition of the magazine. Get your jinx reversing gear prepared.

The coverage stems from¬† Assignment Detroit. Pretty much the entire Time publishing empire (SI, CNN, Time, Fortune…) took residence in Detroit to cover the city that has been hit as hard as any with the economic downturn.

The Tiger related coverage includes:

For owner Mike Ilitch, it has been a pretty good week PR wise. In addition to the Jenkins article where Ilitch is praised for his approach to Tigers ownership:

He is a businessman by trade, but he is consumed with two causes that don’t always lend themselves to profit. “Turning around our city,” he says, “and winning the World Series.” Ilitch, who is 80, wants to see those goals realized in his lifetime, which helps explain how the Tigers have managed to keep payroll high, ticket prices relatively low and the community-relations budget constant in a period of plummeting revenue. As one major league executive puts it, “Their owner doesn’t operate from a profit-and-loss standpoint. He treats the team more like a public trust.”

..he was also featured in the Free Press where various players describe their interactions and respect for him.


  1. rings

    September 23, 2009 at 8:48 am

    A wonderful bit of sunshine…its rare for a puff piece to focus in our direction.

  2. Randolph

    September 23, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I don’t need “jinx reversing gear”, I’m a baseball fan and there are no superstitions in this game….

    • Dave in New Have(n)

      September 23, 2009 at 11:15 am

      You’re not from Boston, are you . . .

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  5. KW

    September 23, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    These are mostly great articles, and it’s awesome to see Tiger Town get major coverage in SI, but I’m going to have to agree with Deadspin on this one:

  6. Keith (Mr. X)

    September 23, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    I’m staying in Detroit. I think the city has great economic potential. There are incredible opportunities here.

  7. Kathy

    September 23, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I just love the picture. Sure, Deadspin makes a good point, but so does the story in SI. Stephen, have you ever thought about applying for a job with Deadspin?

    Just kidding!

  8. Anne

    September 23, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    I’m not sure what the Deadspin article was trying to say: that a winning baseball team doesn’t make Detroiters feel better about themselves? Well, do Detroiters really feel bad about themselves? (I know people are suffering, but that’s not the same thing.) That the reason for the Tigers success this season isn’t empathy for the fans’ troubles? Who cares? The fact is a winning sports team IS something to feel happy about. No, it doesn’t find you a job or pay your mortgage, but it doen’t hurt either.

    • Coleman

      September 23, 2009 at 5:50 pm

      Not to mention the fact that winning–insofar as that leads to making the playoffs–generates extra revenue for the team, and for the home playoff games, for businesses, restaurants, hotels, etc in the city.

  9. Anne

    September 23, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    That being said, however, this whole “Assignment Detroit” thing does feel a little, well, patronizing. I read the article about it on TIME’s website and they make it sound like they’re travelling to some war-ravaged third world country to bring the agonizing struggles of the oppressed locals to the attention of the wider world. Um, hello, Detroit DOES have its own media. You want to know what’s going on here, how about read our papers and watch our news?

  10. Jason

    September 23, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Yeah it was awesome seeing the write up in the Freepress about this week’s SI issue, being a long time subscriber. As much as the backdrop of “harsh economic times” gets tiring over and over ala the Spartan run to the final four. Any publicity is good publicity as the saying goes. I hope the writers do the city and its suburbs proud.

  11. Kathy

    September 23, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Grandy’s comments were particularly telling. Miggy having to bid on a painting and actually win the bid in a local auction. How the team came face to face with financial realities in the D.