Sports Illustrated Trades LeBron for Steinbrenner on iPad Cover

sisteinbrenner07142010.jpgSports Illustrated put LeBron James and his new Miami Heat teammates on the cover of this week’s print edition, then after the magazine went to the printers, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner passed away. For the iPad, SI traded the James cover for a Steinbrenner photo and added a story by Tom Verducci to go with it.

Says Peter Kafka at All Things Digital:

iPad buyers will still get the Lebron story, and can even toggle back and forth between the two covers, if they want. For the time being, the only place to get Verducci’s story is on the iPad, but McDonell says the magazine will put up on its free SI.com site later this week, so that print buyers and subscribers won’t be disadvantaged.

Sports Illustrated‘s move shows that in addition to technical wizardry, the iPad offers magazines a chance to circumvent their print schedules in the event of breaking news, thereby offering a newsy premium for their mobile editions. Kafka goes on to say that Sports Illustrated doesn’t plan on making a habit out of swapping out iPad covers following news breaks. Nevertheless, the magazine has now demonstrated that it has the capability.

“We thought, this is a chance for us to show off what we can do, and what is special abut the iPad in certain situations,” SI editor Terry McDonnell told Kafka.