Thursday, February 21, 2008

Give Me an 'S'! Give me an 'I'! 

Posted by James at 7:04 AM ET

Erin Carlisle of Jaguars' Roar poses for magazine's annual swimsuit issue

By Diana Middleton
The Times-Union
When Sports Illustrated began the search for National Football League Cheerleaders to photograph for its famed swimsuit issue, the magazine zeroed in on a member of Jacksonville Jaguars' ROAR dance squad.

No audition necessary.

Erin Carlisle, 19, was the Roar member plucked to pose in a four-page bikini fest for the newest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, which hit the stands Feb. 12.

Erin, Jacksonville ROAR

Clad in an eye-popping black bikini sprinkled with teal beads and clutching a pair of turquoise pompoms, Carlisle practically purred into the camera during her photo shoot.

"It was so nerve-wracking at first," she said, "but once I got going, it all felt very natural."

Carlisle's coach, Christy Stechman Zynda, was the one who got the call from Sports Illustrated in May.

"They just thought she was a very beautiful person who photographed well," Stechman Zynda said.

Weeks later, Carlisle was on her way to New York City's Pier 59 Studios for the shoot with 11 other NFL Cheerleaders. She was too nervous to nosh at the 8am breakfast buffet. Eventually, a hair stylist whipped Carlisle's naturally stick-straight hair into submission, creating a mane of curls with a heated iron.

"I have no idea how they were able to do that with my hair," she said. "They said my hair was the biggest pain of them all."

Then, wind machine whirring, Carlisle jumped and danced to Beyonce tunes during the 12-hour shoot -in knee-high black boots, no less.

No, she didn't get to pick out the suit, which was the second one she tried on. No freebies, either: She didn't get to keep the bikini, although she snagged a teal version trimmed with black lace.

That one is going into a frame, though, not the pool.

The Jacksonville native is no stranger to modeling: Carlisle has been signed with the Jacksonville-based agency Sessions Modeling and has popped up in a handful of campaigns, including a Revlon advertisement that appeared in Spain. But no modeling gig matches the iconic swimsuit edition - an issue with an expected circulation of 69 million readers, according to publishing powerhouse Time Inc.

The photo shoot may be a sign that the Jaguars brand recognition is elevating, according to Stechman Zynda, manager of the Jaguars' cheerleading program. Carlisle was featured with cheerleaders from established and mature sports teams, such as the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders.

The Jaguars corporate folks had no misgivings about the sexiness of the shoot, either, she said.

"This is a very conservative team, but the Sports Illustrated issue is a staple in the sports industry," Stechman Zynda said. "We really agreed with the concept, which was all about showing these women as athletes: energetic, sporty, glamorous."

Carlisle studies court reporting, but hopes this latest shoot will flag the attention of health magazines and Victoria's Secret - otherwise known as the zenith of the industry. The lingerie megabrand, which dubs its models "angels," was shooting its own advertising campaign at Pier 59 the same day as Carlisle's shoot.

"We weren't allowed to see the models, but I snuck over there and got to see the set and all the wings hanging up," she said. "I was so tempted to try the wings on."

Labels: ,