By Nate Tenopir, Sports Editor
The Gateway is pleased to announce its first annual Sports Swimsuit Issue, to be released next fall. Following the tradition of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, The Gateway plans to be the first college newspaper to feature a regular swimsuit issue each year.
The special edition swimsuit issues will be released each fall and feature models from the UNO student body. Locations on campus, as well as popular Omaha hot spots, will be used as backdrops for the photos.
Because The Gateway Sports Swimsuit Issue is the first of its kind on a college campus, editors say tremendous planning had to take place in order to make the issue a reality. The issue has been thought of for some time, but a partnership with Sports Illustrated is what really got it off the ground.
“We’ve had regular video conferences with the people at Sports Illustrated for three or four months now,” Gateway editor in charge of the project Mikayla Thompson said. “Before we just thought it was a great idea to get the newspaper some attention and open up some opportunities for UNO students.”
“But after meeting with the people from Sports Illustrated, we quickly discovered that we didn’t know what we didn’t know. The planning and teamwork that has to go into this is tremendous.”
Thompson said that in addition to the videoconferences, Sports Illustrated has sent consultants to Omaha three times since January. While here, the consultants helped The Gateway staff learn how to set up locations, how to go through photos and pick which ones make the cut and how to recruit models for the issue.
“After being on campus the people from SI said we’ve got quite a bit to choose from,” Thompson said. “From what they say it sounds like we’ve got enough, let’s say, good-looking people on campus to make a quality issue.”
Shooting is scheduled to start in June and will take place at such locations as the HPER pool, Elmwood Park and even on the ice at the CenturyLink Center. But before all of that Gateway photo editor Joe Shearer says that he and other members of the staff will be looking to recruit models.
“We’re taking applications now and will spend much of April interviewing and choosing the 12 models that make the cut,” Shearer said. “I want to stress that no experience is necessary. While I’m sure that we have some on campus who have modeled before I don’t want the name Sports Illustrated to scare anyone away who hasn’t.”
“They might be the premier name in swimsuit issues but you don’t need to be a professional to get into our issue. To anyone who might be interested but still on the fence I’d say give it a try. It’s pretty rare that you’re going to have the opportunity to work with Sports Illustrated. You never know, we could discover the new Kate Upton.”
Hopefuls for the issue don’t need to have a portfolio to show the editors of the issue, but may be asked to pose for a few shots to help the staff determine the final 12.
Once the final 12 are selected they will be contacted by The Gateway and invited to a meeting to meet the staff, the photographers and the consultants from Sports Illustrated. Because of the partnership wish Sports Illustrated, The Gateway will have the ability to get all of the models sizes and provide all of the swimsuits.
“A lot of the cost of this isn’t like what SI has to put into their issue,” Thompson said. “We’re staying in Omaha so we won’t have much of a travel budget, and we’re hiring models from among UNO students so we won’t have to spend a ton of money on paying professional models for their time.”
“I think one big plus is that Sports Illustrated is providing all the swimsuits. Then when the shooting is over the girls will be allowed to keep their outfits. It’s almost worth trying out just to get some new swimsuits from some of the industry’s top designers.”
Though The Gateway is available on newsstands across campus free of charge, when the swimsuit issue comes out next fall there will be a charge. Right now The Gateway staff plans on pricing the issue at $7.99 based on early sales projections.
Thompson said that while the staff would have liked to stay under $5, the easiest way to pay back Sports Illustrated for their services was by allowing them a cut of the sales profits. As of right now, the issue will be available at the UNO bookstore and several locations across Omaha.
A detailed list of where to pick up the issue will be released once all the sales contracts have been finalized. The staff also plans to have a release party featuring some of the models signing photographs.
Girls who are interested in modeling for the issue should contact The Gateway by email at email@example.com or stop by The Gateway office inside the Milo Bail Student Center.
No date or location has yet been set for the release party.