Kate Upton is the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model

Natural Wonders: 17 SI Swimsuit Models Traveled to Australia, Zambia, Seychelles and Panama, with a special shoot in Apalachicola, Florida

Also in Swimsuit 2012: Female Athletes in Bodypaint; Bar Refaeli with Rafael Nadal, Chris Paul and Michael Phelps; DJ A-Trak and 17 other Beauties & Beats Musicians; Lenny Kravitz on the Gulf

NEW YORK, NY – February 14, 2012 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Kate Upton sizzles in Sydney on the cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT 2012, out February 14 on newsstands, tablet, mobile and SI.com/Swimsuit. The red-hot cover shot was captured by legendary SI photographer Walter Iooss Jr., his 12th Swimsuit cover. The 19-year-old, Melbourne, Fla., native joins an elite group of women who’ve appeared on the coveted cover, including Kathy Ireland, Christie Brinkley, Cheryl Tiegs, Heidi Klum, Elle MacPherson, Tyra Banks and Brooklyn Decker.

Swimsuit 2012 content extends far beyond the pages of the issue, with digital extensions of SI Swimsuit including a supercharged tablet edition that features more than 150 photos and 2 hours of video, available for iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Barnes & Noble Nook Color, Amazon Kindle Fire, Motorola Xoom and Android smartphones. There is also an iPhone app that gives users a 360˚ view of bodypainted athletes and SI.com/Swimsuit with an interactive music section and first-ever Swimsuit style guide.

“You will see innovation on every Swimsuit platform this year,” said Terry McDonell, Editor Time Inc. Sports Group. “The magazine tablet app showcases the highest levels of photography through scrolling-panoramic sequences, we created a new music section on SI.com, and on your iPad and iPhone the 360˚ views of bodypaint will offer an entirely new perspective on Swimsuit.”

Upton, in her second Swimsuit appearance, is joined by 2009 cover model Bar Refaeli – photographed with Rafael Nadal, Chris Paul and Michael Phelps – and 2011 cover model Irina Shayk making her sixth appearance in Swimsuit. Also returning to Swimsuit are Cintia Dicker (4 appearances), Jessica Gomes (5), Izabel Goulart (2), Julie Henderson (6), Ariel Meredith (2), Alyssa Miller (2), Genevieve Morton (3), Chrissy Teigen (3) and Anne V (8). The six 2012 Rookies are Adaora, Nina Agdal, Kirby Griffin, Crystal Renn, Michelle Vawer and Jessica Perez, winner of the 2011 Rookie Model Search. The issue also features a first-ever pairing of two SI Swimsuit traditions — bodypainted athletes. U.S. Soccer star Alex Morgan, the LPGA’s Natalie Gulbis and U.S. swimmer and 11-time US Olympic medal winner Natalie Coughlin’s bodies were the canvases for athletically inspired suits.

The locations for Swimsuit 2012 are as breathtaking as the models with shoots in Australia (Carins + Sydney), Zambia, Seychelles and Panama, along with a special shoot on the U.S. Gulf Coast in Apalachicola, Fla.

Editorial features that span the magazine, tablet, mobile, social and SI.com/Swimsuit include:

  • Beauties & Beats: Music beats from every extension of Swimsuit 2012 with A-Trak and 17 other artists providing the soundtrack. Read the six-page music feature in the magazine; watch the videos on SI.com, tablet and mobile and visit the dedicated music section of SI.com — with artist bios and links to purchase each track. Facebook.com/SISwimsuit will have videos from the first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Beauties and Beats Music Festival presented by Lexus in Las Vegas.
  • BodyPaint 360˚: Get out your iPad or iPhone to see Morgan, Gulbis and Coughlin bodypainted from every angle.
  • The Gulf: Upton, Meredith and Henderson provide a striking reminder of the beauty of the Gulf Coast. The Florida, Louisiana and Texas natives shine the spotlight on the region from historic Apalachicola, Fla. Lenny Kravitz, a New Orleans resident, in his own words helps to “draw attention to all that remains beautiful in the Gulf.”
  • Surf’s Up: Limited edition Quiksiver Surfboards adorned with a larger-than-life pictures of SI Swimsuit models will be for sale on Gilt.com/Swim, along with SI Swimsuit inspired swimwear styles and gallery-quality prints. All proceeds will go toward keeping beaches beautiful.
  • Social: Connect with each of SI’s models through the tablet edition or watch behind the scenes launch week videos and Music Festival performances on Facebook. Follow Swimsuit on Twitter (@SI_Swimsuit) and like it on Facebook (Facebook.com/SISwimsuit).
  • Swimsuit Fashion: The first digital Swimsuit style guide will appear on SI.com/Swimsuit showcasing the fashion trends from each shoot at budget, splurge and break-the-bank price points. Trends featured in Swimsuit 2012 include, colorblock, red, folky prints and bright animal prints.
  • Rookie of the Year: For the first time readers can go to SI.com/Swimsuit to vote for the 2012 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT Rookie of the Year to be announced later in the spring.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (www.SI.com/Swimsuit) franchise reaches more than 70 million people annually, and more men 18 to 34 than the Super Bowl. The iconic franchise now spans more than 20 product extensions in digital social, broadcast, publishing, mobile and consumer products, along with supporting a vibrant experiential marketing business. Since debuting in 1964, Swimsuit has become a pop-culture phenomenon and an established launching pad for successful careers in TV, fashion, business and film including those of Kathy Ireland, Cheryl Tiegs, Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum. All of Swimsuit’s product extensions are built upon a heritage of amazing photography and footage of gorgeous models and athletes from the most exotic locations in the world.

Scott Novak, Sports Illustrated, (212) 522-2687, Scott_Novak@timeinc.com
Emily Christopher, Sports Illustrated, (212) 522-8473, Emily_Christopher@timeinc.com