It's a simple conceit -- "Just Askin': Your Questions Answered by Top Athletes" -- that's had phenomenal resonance: more than 4 million views within its first five weeks of launch. Why has this new original video series on Sports Illustrated's website taken off so quickly? For starters, because of access -- the power of the SI brand compels just about any coach or player in the biggest college games of the season to cozy up to the camera, if summoned. Meanwhile, the athletes get to feel like they're doing fan outreach (at massive scale), so it's a brand-building opportunity for them, too.
Because online voting determines who gets asked what, and reader/viewers get name-checked when their query connects (e.g. "Given the transition to the Big Ten, are there plans to implement a more traditional option defense?" -- submitted by Christopher A. Willis), even the fans have an opportunity for their own moment in the sun.
In other words: win-win-win.