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Hard Rock properties to be featured in Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and digital media

The Guitar Hotel and Maggie Rawlins, a model and registered nurse from Charleston, S.C., appear in this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue scheduled to be released July 20, 2021. (Photo James Macari/Sports Illustrated)

HOLLYWOOD – The Guitar Hotel and Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue – both known for attracting a lot of eyes – are teaming up.

Through a partnership announced in early March, Hard Rock’s resort properties in the U.S. will serve as backdrops in SI’s swimsuit issue and digital media content. The swimsuit issue is scheduled to be released July 20.  

“I’m super excited about the partnership that we have with SI Swimsuit and the Hard Rock because it’s two iconic brands that have been around for so long, finally meeting together and making something incredible, and I can’t wait to see how this issue turns out,” SI Swimsuit model Haley Kalil said during an interview segment with Hard Rock International chairman and Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen on Hard Rock’s social media.

The two-year-old Guitar Hotel that towers above the reservation of its owners – the Seminole Tribe of Florida in Hollywood –  is featured with model and registered nurse Maggie Rawlins of Charleston, South Carolina.

Additional Hard Rock destinations mentioned in the announcement include Tampa, Atlantic City and Sacramento. The resorts’ offerings captured by SI photographers range from blackjack tournaments to spa experiences to cooking lessons.

“We are thrilled to be teaming up with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, which continues to offer one of the most anticipated and celebrated annually released media publications in the world,” Keith Sheldon, president of entertainment for Seminole Gaming and Hard Rock International, said in a statement. “This exceptional partnership will enable us to showcase the Hard Rock brand to a global audience in new and unique ways while highlighting our ongoing commitment to entertainment via the integration of musical elements throughout.”

The partnership also includes musical components, retail collaborations and social initiatives, such as the Instagram launch of #StrongLikeAWoman, a viral social challenge that asks women to show their followers what makes them strong and powerful. The post coincides with International Women’s Month in March.

Additionally, SI Swimsuit and Hard Rock plan to host panel discussions, fireside chats and musical performances to discuss key topics facing women globally. The series will serve as a fundraiser for female-focused charitable causes via the Hard Rock Heals Foundation.

The swimsuit launch event, which is scheduled to take place at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood later this year, will feature musical performances at Hard Rock Live.

On the retail end, a co-branded merchandise series will feature Hard Rock T-shirts and sweatshirts customized for sun-seekers. The items will be available for purchase at select Hard Rock shop locations and shop.hardrock.com.

“There’s a synchronicity between Sports Illustrated Swimsuit and Hard Rock International that generates a really powerful partnership,” Hillary Drezner, head of partnerships at Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, said in a statement. “This exciting opportunity brings together two legendary brands that share a commitment to innovation and excellence, and allows us to create unique content and experiences. Hard Rock has been an incredible partner and we are excited to be joining forces with them.”

The partnership comes as Hard Rock approaches the 50th anniversary date of its business. In June 1971, the first Hard Rock Café, with owners Peter Morton and Isaac Tigrett, debuted in London. The Seminole Tribe purchased Hard Rock in 2006.

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Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. He also worked for more than a decade in management and public relations for a hockey program in New England that produced several college and NHL players. Contact Kevin at kevinjohnson@semtribe.com.
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