SBD/22/Sports Media

SI'S SIMPSON AND SABINO BELIEVE THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

          SI For Kids Publisher Cleary Simpson and Research Dir
     Donna Sabino are the subject of the "SGB Interview" by Chris
     McEvoy.  Sabino, on which leagues kids favor: "[W]hen I
     started at SI for Kids in 1991 the NBA was not one of kids'
     favorite leagues.  Then the NBA made this deliberate,
     concerted effort to reach out to kids and say, 'Here's this
     guy Michael Jordan.'  Then kids responded by thinking that
     well, this is kind of cool.  The NFL then took the
     initiative and started telling kids 'We want you to keep
     track of your team. ... Pay attention every Sunday.'  The
     leagues can't take for granted anymore that kids are
     inherently going to know about their sport."  Simpson noted
     that kids "were very effected by the [MLB] strike," and
     added that MLB has "to find a way to get the players more
     involved with some of these programs for kids" to boost
     popularity.  Simpson, on the ages of SI For Kids readers:
     "[W]e're getting them earlier.  We have a lot of seven-year-
     old readers.  That's really when you're beginning to learn
     to read, and they're keeping it longer.  We're graduating
     most of them by 14 or 15. ... Right now, our total
     readership is about 70/30 boys/girls" (SGB, 4/15 issue).

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