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Sports Illustrated magazine purchased for $110 million

Sports Illustrated magazine is likely familiar to you regardless of your interest in professional athletics. And you may be interested in the magazine’s recent change in ownership whether you subscribe to the magazine.

With the growth of the internet came a decline in subscriptions for print publications. Yet, Authentic Brands Group recently paid $110 million to purchase Sports Illustrated (SI) from Meredith Corporation.

How Authentic Brands Group could benefit from its purchase of Sports Illustrated

This purchase may not be a typical business deal. However, the transfer of SI’s intellectual property could be beneficial as Authentic builds upon the established brand name.

Authentic already holds licensing and trademark rights to Muhammad Ali, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. They also have licensing deals with Shaquille O’Neal and Greg Norman.

The marketing and brand development company already owns the licensing rights to Juicy Couture and Nautica. However, SI is the company’s first attempt at licensing a media company.

Authentic may consider:

  • Monetizing existing SI photography
  • Branding SI athletic equipment
  • Offering SI-branded sports camps for youth

Authentic will license the SI brand and content. However, the deal allows Meredith to continue to manage the editorial and print sectors of the magazine for two years. Meanwhile, with last month’s announcement that ESPN will soon discontinue their print magazine, time will tell how SI’s print edition will remain profitable.

Authentic recognizes SI is worth more than what they paid, despite the publication’s slow adaptation to digital media. However, the companies recently reached a profit-sharing agreement. This gives them a reason to collaborate on achieving long-term success.

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