The sports betting industry is now trying to add some readers of Sports Illustrated. An online sports betting company called 888 Holdings has partnered up with Authentic Brands Group (ABG), owner of the Sports Illustrated brand, to create a company that focuses on sports gambling and iGaming.
WHERE WILL THIS SPORTSBOOK LAUNCH
The Sportsbook will launch in the state of Colorado during the next second half of this year. It seems like a lot of companies are trying to establish a name in the sports betting industry and establish a loyal customer base before more competitors join the growing market. The company is also looking into launching in New Jersey, Iowa, and Indiana. This new sportsbook will be called SI Sportsbook.
Chairman, and CEO Jamie Salter, Authentic Brands Group founder, stated:
“888 is one of the leaders in online betting and gaming globally and has outstanding technology, products, and marketing capabilities, and we are excited to partner with them to offer an innovative product experience for sports fans.”
CEO of Maven, the operator of Sports Illustrated’s print and digital assets, Ross Levinsohn, also added:
“The editorial, content and betting experience will reflect the integrity and ethos that SI has maintained for more than six decades.”
WHAT IN-STORE FOR SI AND 888
Sports Illustrated will be taking a 4.99 percent equity stake in this deal as part of the joint venture. One of the leading sportsbooks, 888 will be acquiring an exclusive license through the SI brand and reputation it has built over the years.
Authentic Brands Group will be guaranteed brand license fees and performance-based affiliate fees. The company will have options to acquire an additional 5% stake in the JV for $15 million and a further 5% stake for $25 million in the future. The brand wants to target customers in the United States and wants to expand to Canada down the line.
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CEO of 888, Itai Pazner, stated:
“We are delighted to announce this strategic partnership, enabling us to accelerate our investment into the US, which represents one of the most exciting long-term growth opportunities for our company. Sports Illustrated is an iconic sports media brand with high awareness and consumer loyalty.”
SI will also publish a gambling-themed issue in the month of August to engage its readers as many new opportunities will present themselves. This will also lead to more growth in the future for all the parties involved. SI will also reach out to many former subscribers as the number went down by almost three million subscribers over the span of 2018-2019. In 2020, SI had 1.7 million subscribers.
888 Sportsbook has been in the market with a strong media reputation as many competitors have done to gain an advantage in different ways. Barstool shares have declined in recent months and have been involved in many incidents that have pushed away some investors. Other sportsbooks have struggled to make money because these are not the most engaging months as the NFL season is the most popular in the United States.
It will be interesting to see how the company does when it launches during the second half of 2021.