“Sports Illustrated,”,the magazine that has famous covers and narrative voices, has helped shape American sports since its debut 65 years ago, has been sold for $110 million to “Authentic Brands Group” in a strange way. It suggests that the magazine’s most coveted asset is its brand.
What “Authentic Brands” originally bought was not the magazine itself but rather “Sports Illustrated’s” valuable intellectual property.
A news release pointed to the fact that “Authentic Brands”, a licensing company that owns the brands of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, & clothing retailers such as Juicy Couture, will make money off these properties through live events, sports gambling, & other things.
The companies named the deal a “strategic partnership.”
“As a trailblazer and cultural phenomenon, ‘Sports Illustrated’ has created moments and experiences for its readers that are unmatched by any other sports brand,” Nick Woodhouse, president and chief marketing officer of “Authentic Brands,” said. “We look forward to working with Meredith to extend ‘Sports Illustrated’s’ legacy and connect the brand with new audiences around the world.”
“Sports Illustrated’s” editor in chief, Chris Stone, said in a statement that “Authentic Brands” and Meredith were committed to continuing to support the magazine and website editorially.
Meredith got “Sports Illustrated” when it bought Time Inc. for $2.8 billion last year.
“Sports Illustrated,” struggled in recent years to meet the imperatives of the web and deal with the downsides of ink and paper. Meredith told employees more than a year ago that it was likely to sell “Sports Illustrated,” & “Time,” “Fortune and Money,” while holding on to lifestyle publications like “Allrecipes,” “Better Homes,” & “Gardens.”
“Time” was sold to Marc Benioff, the chief executive of the software company Salesforce, & “Fortune” was sold to Chatchaval Jiaravanon, whose family controls one of Thailand’s largest companies. Meredith has announced that it is ending “Money’s” print edition.