On 8 February, the publication posted a sneak peek at the 28-year-old’s spread on Instagram, noting that this is her first feature in the magazine. Mahomes posed in a series of red bathing suits – a nod to her position as owner of the Kansas City Current NWSL and the Kansas City Chiefs, her husband’s football team.
“Brittany Mahomes is your newest 2024 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Rookie,” the caption read. “Owner of the Kansas City Current NWSL team, former pro athlete, wife and mother, Brittany emerges as the epitome of a modern-day powerhouse.”
“Founder of the world’s first-ever dedicated stadium for women’s sports, Brittany’s journey has surpassed all expectations, inspiring others with her tenacity and unyielding determination,” they continued. “We are proud to welcome her to the SI Swimsuit family where she will undoubtedly continue to empower women worldwide.”
The choice to star Mahomes seems fitting with Patrick and the Kansas City Chiefs heading into the Super Bowl LVIII on 11 February too.
Mahomes’ shoot was staged on a sandy beach in Belize and shot by filmmaker Derek Kettela, a regular for the publication.
In the comments section of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s post, enamored viewers congratulated the NFL star’s wife.
Kristin Juszczyk, married to football icon Kyle Juszczyk, wrote: “Are you kidding me!?! Love watching you shine!!”
“Love it!!! She’s not just a ‘football wife’. She’s a queen making her name known on her own and empowering girls everywhere,” another kind fan said.
A third proclaimed: “Glad to see the support. You’re setting a great example for your kids that you are continuing to build your own brand and have your own accomplishments that you can be proud of, independent from your husband.”
Yet, among the outpour of love was a community of followers who were surprised by the announcement.
“I thought SI was finished, didn’t the publishers license to use the SI IP just get pulled?” one user asked on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Another questioned: “I thought they went bankrupt? Glad the brand survived.”
“I thought they laid off all their employees,” one individual added.
I thought they laid off all their employees
— Kurtis Carman (@KurtisCarman) February 8, 2024
On 19 January, Front Office Sports confirmed that Sports Illustrated Swimsuit staff members were notified of “massive layoffs” underway and planned ahead.
“Some employees will be terminated immediately, and paid in lieu of the applicable notice period under the [the union contract],” an email obtained by FOS sent to staffers by The Arena Group, the former SI publisher, read.
“Employees with a last working day of today will be contacted by the People team soon. Other employees will be expected to work through the end of the notice period, and will receive additional information shortly,” the email continued.
According to FOS, “Authentic, the licensing group that purchased Sports Illustrated for $110m from Meredith five years ago, has terminated the agreement it holds with The Arena Group to publish SI in print and digital.”