Minute Media becoming new publisher of Sports Illustrated brand through deal with owner Authentic Brands

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    Sports Illustrated has landed a new publisher.

    Minute Media will receive digital and print publishing rights for the brand through a new “long-term partnership” between it and owner Authentic Brands Group. The deal was unveiled Monday.

    There had been questions about Sports Illustrated and what would happen to it after Authentic Brands stopped the licensing agreement of its prior publisher, The Arena Group.

    Under the deal, Minute Media will run the editorial operations of Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit and Sports Illustrated Kids, it said in a news release

    A Sports Illustrated cover

    A Sports Illustrated cover, from Oct. 16, 1972, and signed limited edition Wilt Chamberlain sports porcelain figurine on display during the press preview at Sotheby’s Auction House on Aug. 1, 2023, in Los Angeles. (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images / Getty Images)

    The company “plans to leverage its premium sports content expertise as well as its technology platform that powers the creation, global distribution and monetization of hundreds of digital content brands, to continue to grow the Sports Illustrated media business,” according to the release. 

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    Sports Illustrated will join brands like The Players’ Tribune and Fansided already under Minute Media’s purview. 

    Sports Illustrated writers belonging to the Sports Illustrated Union “welcome the change” of publisher and “look forward to remaining part of the storied brand’s future,” according to a statement from the union.

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    The CEO of Minute Media, Asaf Peled, expressed intentions to The New York Times, which first reported Monday on the news, of bringing some Sports Illustrated employees affected by The Arena Group layoffs back on board.

    Sports Illustrated magazines

    Sports Illustrated magazines are seen on Jan. 23, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo Illustration by Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

    At the same time that the companies announced the licensing deal, they revealed Authentic Brands will become a stakeholder of Minute Media.

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    “Minute Media has successfully proven that they are leading the way in a new era of sports storytelling, and we are excited and optimistic about this partnership and the future of Sports Illustrated as the preeminent lens into sports,” Authentic Brands Tactical Ops Executive Vice Chairman Daniel Dienst said in a statement.

    Minute Media has been around since 2011, when it was founded in Israel. It has received funding in the past from firms like Goldman Sachs, Battery and Dawn Capital.

     Its content reportedly reached 200 million people each month. 



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