Meredith Corp. announced Monday that it has sold Sports Illustrated’s intellectual property to Authentic Brands Group for $110 million.
As part of the deal, Sports Illustrated will remain “under the leadership” of Meredith, editor-in-chief Chris Stone and publisher Danny Lee, a press release from Meredith stated. Meredith will pay Authentic Brands an undisclosed licensing fee “to operate the Sports Illustrated print magazine and SI.com for a minimum of two years,” the press release continued. Meanwhile, Authentic Brands will assume the licensing functions, business development and marketing for Sports Illustrated.
"We are honored to welcome Sports Illustrated to the ABG family," Jamie Salter, the founder, chairman and CEO of Authentic Brands said in a statement. "As one of the most iconic brands in sports media, SI is a cultural centerpiece with massive opportunities for growth across its burgeoning digital, TV and social platforms and industry-leading print magazine. SI's trusted name and fiercely devoted following set the stage for the brand to become a leader in lifestyle and entertainment."
Authentic Brands, which describes itself as a “brand development, marketing and entertainment company which owns a global portfolio of entertainment and lifestyle brands,” will also get the associated brands of Sports Illustrated, including its iconic magazine, Sports Illustrated Kids, Sportsperson of the Year, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, SI TV and SI. Authentic Brands will likewise acquire the rights to over two million images in Sports Illustrated’s archive.
"We are delighted to find a great home for Sports Illustrated with ABG, one of the world's premier brand owners and licensors," Jon Werther, the president of Meredith National Media Group said in a statement. "Additionally, we are excited about the opportunity to fully integrate Sports Illustrated's print and digital products into Meredith's operations. We believe our proven expertise in content creation and sales and marketing will greatly enhance the vitality and profitability of these channels."
Meredith acquired Sports Illustrated as part of its purchase of publishing company Time Inc. in January 2018. However, Meredith announced later it was selling some Time Inc. sports brands.