This week, 888 and Sports Illustrated announced a new partnership deal. The goal of the agreement is to create online sports betting and iGaming products for the United States for the Sports Illustrated brand. This includes the creation and launch of SI Sportsbook this year.
The new SI Sportsbook will be live in Colorado first, with more states offering the service in the future. The digital platform will include widgets and tools, along with an in-depth analysis of all things sports betting. By August, the brand will publish a gambling-themed issue of its iconic magazine.
The Sports Illustrated name and intellectual property are owned by Authentic Gaming. The company made the purchase in 2019 from Meredith Corp. to the tune of $110 million. This latest move will take the magazine in a completely different direction and open the company up to the large and exciting online gambling world in the US.
Authentic Brands Group founder, chairman, and CEO Jamie Salter commented on the new partnership by stating the company is thrilled to announce that Sports Illustrated will enter the online sports betting and gambling space.
The company is excited to be working with 888, as they are a leader in both industries. Authentic Brands is excited to be able to soon offer an innovative product to sports fans. 888 CEO Itai Pazner also commented on the deal by stating:
“We are excited about the potential to deliver our cutting-edge, proprietary sportsbook platform into the market, providing Sports Illustrated fans with a first-class betting and gaming experience.”
Entering a Booming Industry
For both 888 and Sports Illustrated, the deal presents a prime opportunity in the United States. Over the past few years, sports betting has increased across the nation, as new states legalize the gambling option, along with online casino gaming.
With this new deal, the agreement is good for 20 years and provides Authentic Brands with 4.9% stake in the venture. There is an option in the deal to allow Authentic to increase its ownership up to 19.9%. Additional details of the deal have not gone public as of yet.
After launching in Colorado later on this year, we expect the SI Sportsbook to launch in New Jersey, Iowa, or perhaps Indiana next. 888 has agreements in place to offer sports betting in these areas, so it makes sense to launch there next.
It will be interesting to see if SI Sportsbook launches in other states before the year’s end or if we have to wait until 2022 to see where the brand will travel to next.