Judging by the many letters we received which tell us so, the average issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED leads a long and active life. One of the most active is probably the lot of the copy which goes to Mr. Lloyd C. Hazleton in Montreal, Canada. His letter, attached to his renewal form, recently arrived at our subscription offices in Chicago.
"The enclosed two-year renewal should result in some new subscriptions for you, as this can hardly continue for another two years.
"My son-in-law picks up my copy regularly.
"His two brothers read it.
"They send it to another brother who, in turn—
"Sends it to relatives in the Maritime Provinces.
"After that I lose track."
Keeping track of the original destination of all subscription copies of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is the job of Time Inc.'s subscription headquarters at 540 N. Michigan Avenue. Here a battery of machines sorts, marks and reduces to IBM cards all routine subscription information. But some things machines can't do, such as understand and acknowledge friendly messages. So at 540 a staff of more than 1,000 takes over where machines leave off and sees, for one thing, that all correspondence receives a personal answer.
During the past few weeks both mechanical and human activity at 540 has increased above its busy norm as thousands of renewals and many heart-warming letters have poured in from the ranks of SI's charter subscribers.
This season also brings to Chicago a burst of requests for changes of address. These come from a group of young and loyal subscribers for whom late summer means getting ready to return to college and, as part of that, heeding the small print on the lower left-hand corner of this page and getting SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ready too.
When it arrives at college, it seems that SI leads a life no less vigorous than when it reaches Mr. Hazleton.
From North Carolina State: "My roommates here scramble for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED as soon as it comes in. I have to wait until last to read it. But it is well worth waiting for."
From Dartmouth: "If our dormitory is any indication, and I think it is, then SI is just about the most extensively and intensively read magazine in the American college."
Naturally 540 is happy to make sure that SI arrives at the right place and time to start its sophomore year.