Jamie Salter, Chairman and CEO of Authentic Brands Group (the official owner of SI)

  • Sports Illustrated will be partnered with a sportsbook by the end of 2020 in a strategic move to gain more online engagement which has seen a decline over the past few years.
  • SI Bets is the brand that would be licensed through a partnership with a sports betting operator and will be a welcome addition to the company, fans of Sports Illustrated, and sports bettors nationwide.

NEW YORKSports Illustrated (SI) is looking to add to their brand by way of sports betting. The popular sports publication has been in talks with multiple sports betting operators to partner with and is expected to choose one by the end of 2020.

While no names have been disclosed by SI, it would be safe to assume that Jamie Salter, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Authentic Brands Group (the official owner of SI) has a knack for brands and will choose a sportsbook that has a record of running a strong operation.

Sports Illustrated And Sports Betting Going Hand In Hand

This deal will be a good one for all of those involved. Sports Illustrated could branch out into having SI Bets through a partnership with a sportsbook that they would require to become licensed with the brand SI Bets.

Through this venture, Sports Illustrated hopes to gain a surge in internet traffic while allowing the sportsbook to be part of their online applications, permitting both parties to gain larger profit margins in the future.

Salter has previously stated that getting SI into sports betting would be a game-changer for the company. The publication has seen a steady decline in annual revenue, with reports showing it dip as low as $184.8 million in 2018. Authentic Brands Group (ABG) purchased Sports Illustrated in May of 2019 for $110 million.

“SI is worth a heck of a lot more than $110 million and thank god we got it for that price,“ said Salter at the time of purchase. “It’s one of the best sports assets on the planet. It’s got heritage, authenticity and it represents the true athletes.”

SI Bets Is In The Sports Illustrated Future

Sports Illustrated saw 2,735,987 visitors on their website in July 2020. They have been up and down with digital engagement since being acquired by ABG, seeing their best month in January 2020 with 3,600,676 visitors.

Adding SI Bets to the equation will help further the interest of sports fans in the company and get SI the spike in internet activity that they seek as sports betting is becoming more popular and more legal nationwide.

“We are super excited about the category as SI is the most trusted brand in Sports,” said Salter to LegalSportsBetting on Thursday.

Salter and his team are looking to bring Sports Illustrated back to their glory days among fans of sporting events. Adding an industry like that of legal sports betting to their repertoire appears to be the smart move at this time.

This upcoming deal will help to modernize SI more while giving them the opportunity to capitalize on a market that continues to grow daily.

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