No denying the love affair between sports and fashion continues to get steamier. Making sure not miss out on any of the action, ESPN The Magazine has just published its inaugural style issue, to go right along with the hiring of its first-ever fashion editor.

Titled the Style Report, the special issue arrives on newsstands this week with an emphasis on clothes and styling. Breaking down the NFL Draft and a look-ahead to the upcoming NBA playoffs will have to wait until next month – right now ESPN wants to get up close with athletes, fashion and fashionable athletes.

Speaking with FishbowlNY, Steven Binder, Vice President, Publishing Director for ESPN The Magazine, said he was ‘completely confident’ with the sports magazine jumping into the fashion world.

“This is something our readers want to know about. They want to see what athletes are wearing on and off the field. We’re not looking to become a fashion magazine at all, but this is the beginning of an increase in our coverage.”

Binder added that the magazine will eventually incorporate dedicated pages to style and fashion coverage.

As for the person tasked with merging the fashion with the sports is Samantha Rubin, formerly of Men’s Health.

The glamor/style/entertainment connection between sports and fashion is far too tailor-made for one another to not try to blend from all angles. If anything one could wonder why it’s taken this long for ESPN to launch a style issue. The ingredients are all there. Now it’s a matter of execution.