The personality of this publication comes from the terminology and phrases dedicated sports fans understand differently when compared to first-time readers. Language and visuals combine for an effective demonstration and sharing of facts (stats, infographics, charts and graphs), opinions pieces as well as the riveting real life stories of athletes trying to make a name for themselves.
It starts with the magazine name: ESPN. Everyone knows the name and it’s attributed as one if not the most successful sports magazine today. People associate the biggest athletes in sports with the ESPN name and therefore, seeing the nameplate makes me instantly think I picked up a powerful, inspiring piece of work no matter what issue or cover athlete.
The headlines are very creative and interesting. They definitely make you think and often times twist the perception of the reader. For example, my favorite one from the September NFL issue goes “What’s more interesting than the exquisite trash-talk of Jaguars star cornerback Jalen Ramsey? The person behind it.. The Man, the Mouth, the Legend. I noticed many of the headlines are indeed long, but they never fall flat. Instead, the headlines are always enjoying to read and leave you with a cliffhanger subhead to go and find the answer to. My favorite subhead comes after the headline,
“A former pro reveals the dilemma every NFL player confronts: Now that I’m here, what do I do next? Fourth Down and Life to Go.
The pull quotes are commonly used as a connect between feature athlete and reader. In this publication, the pull quote is enlarged and shares a short anecdote from the athlete himself/ herself. It’s powerful, clarifies his/her stance, and reassures credibility.
Cutlines and captions are also inserted with every image and occasionally infographics. Labels will be seen next to statistics for explanation behind the numbers that are flying across the page. In case you want to learn more, there are links provided to ESPN’s NFL page. These added blurbs provide readers with an outlet find additional content. Promotions in this magazine are actually very engaging, especially if you follow the athlete or even just the sport closely. They’re fairly conversational and invite the reader to inch closer with excitement as they transition to the next page.
The bylines (e.g. By Seth Wickersham) are properly sized and easy to locate for the most part. On the other hand, some of the credit lines (e.g. Michael Zagaris/ San Francisco 49ers/ Getty Images) are tucked so closely to the center of the page, spaced poorly and need to be enlarged.