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Sports Illustrated Looking into Sports Betting Market

The sports betting industry continues to grow throughout the United States, and Sports Illustrated wants to join in on the fun. The company is looking to break into the sports betting market by forming a partnership with a sports betting operator.

The company has seen online engagement decline in recent years, and they are hopeful that breaking into this industry will help turn things around. Sports Illustrated has already started discussions with some operators, and they are hoping to have a deal in place by the end of 2020.

SI Bets is the name of the brand that would partner with an operator, and it will be a welcome addition to the SI brand. Sports Illustrated was once one of the most popular companies in the sports world, but that has changed.

The company is looking for new ways to engage a younger generation of fans, and launching the SI Bets brand is a great way to accomplish this. Sports Illustrated will be selective when looking for a partner, but they should attract some of the industry’s biggest names. 

Authentic Brands Group is the owner of Sports Illustrated, and they are led by Jamie Salter. Salter will be the man in charge of leading this search, and he has some ties to some major companies in that industry. 

Revenue Decline Motive For Move

Some in the industry have wondered what has taken Sports Illustrated so long to branch out into the sports betting industry. The company has been slow to react, and it has led to a downward trend in revenue.

The publication is still making over $100 million per year, but the numbers have dropped over the last two fiscal years. The total revenue in 2018 was just $184.8 million, and Sports Illustrated was accustomed to having revenue of close to a quarter of a billion dollars.

Authentic Brands Group purchased Sports Illustrated for a reported $110 million in May 2019. That group has been working to find new ways to increase revenue since the beginning of 2020. 

The hope is that SI Bets will become the official name of a sportsbook that is already established in the United States. SI would then feature the sportsbook on their online site, and promote their new offering. 

Viewership Down As Well

Another area that the Authentic Brands Group is working to change is the total amount of viewership to the online site each month. These numbers have been up and down since the acquisition, and the group has been unable to pinpoint the problem.

Total viewership was reported at 2,735,987 visitors in July 2020, and that was almost one million fewer viewers than the site had in January. Authentic Brands Group reported 3,600,676 visitors in January 2020, which was the best month since they took over the company. 

The addition of sports betting news would bring more traffic to the online site, which would, in turn, increase the amount of revenue that is brought in. 

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