Popular American sports magazine Sports Illustrated, owned by Authentic Brands Group (ABG), is reportedly looking for a betting partner and a partnership deal could be announced before the end of this year.
According to emerging media reports, Sports Illustrated is pursuing advanced-level talks with an unidentified betting services provider and the deal could be announced before the end of 2020. As per media reports, the information are based on authentic sources and a deal between the sports magazine and a betting company could be a reality if terms can be met. It would be the newest in a series of such deals struck in over the course of the current year.
In the month of January 2020, Penn National Gaming (PNG) spent acquired 36 per cent of David Portnoy’s Barstool Sports in a transaction valued at $163 million, setting the stage for the gaming firm to eventually become the out-and-out proprietor of the sports and pop culture site at a cost of $450 million.
In February, ViacomCBS announced the signing of a partnership deal with William Hill. The deal, whose financial terms were not disclosed, allowed the sportsbook operator to officially provide betting data on all CBS Sports platforms.
Some media reports suggest that ABG is trying to do the same with Sports Illustrated by licensing the brand name to digital publishing firm Maven, which oversees the magazine’s day-to-day operations and its online business through SI.com. While rumors about a potential betting partner have been swirling quite fast, nothing has been indicated or commented on specific financials. However, most of the industry experts are of the view that the price of a potential partnership deal will likely not reach Barstool heights.
Roundhill Investments chief executive and co-founder Will Hershey said that increasing number of such deals showed that bookmakers wanted to utilize media assets as top of their funnel.
When asked for a comment, Hershey said, “I think it speaks to a broader trend for bookmakers that want to utilize media assets as their top of funnel. As we are in the early innings of the US betting rollout, any investment in growing your user base has the potential to be a worthwhile trade.”
While Sports Illustrated is no longer the media property that it used once to be, it is still a recognizable brand and potentially beneficial to any sportsbook operator that may be looking to expand its customer base. Moreover, the property is not alien to betting as it already offers gambling and daily fantasy sports (DFS) services.