Meredith Corp. has sold Sports Illustrated for $110 million to Authentic Brands Group, a global brand development, marketing and entertainment company that manages Juicy Couture, Nautica, and holds the licensing and trademark rights for celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali.
Under terms of the deal, Authentic Brands Group (ABG) acquires the rights to market and license Sports Illustrated, its swimsuit edition, kids’ edition, “Sportsperson of the Year” and SI TV, along with the magazine’s photo archive. Meredith will continue to operate the Sports Illustrated print magazine and SI.com for a minimum of two years, and pay ABG a licensing fee.
“We are honored to welcome Sports Illustrated to the ABG family,” Authentic Brands Founder, Chairman and CEO Jamie Salter said in a statement on Monday, May 27. “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.”
Added Meredith President Jon Werther: “We are delighted to find a great home for Sports Illustrated with ABG, one of the world’s premier brand owners and licensors.”
The agreement does not include the FanSided digital platform, which Meredith is currently in the process of selling.
Meredith acquired SI as part of its purchase of Time Inc. for $1.85 billion on January 31, 2018, and immediately put Time magazine, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated up for sale.
That left People and Entertainment Weekly as prominent titles staying in the fold at Des Moines, Iowa-based Meredith, whose portfolio includes female-skewing consumer titles like Better Homes and Gardens.