One of America’s most revered sports magazines has entered the gambling market in a partnership with one of the world’s top betting sites. In June, Sports Illustrated and 888 Holdings announced that they would team up in an endeavor that will lead to the online launch of the SI betting site later this year.
- Gambling giant 888 will use the Sports Illustrated name for US online wagering sites
- Authentic Brands will receive a licensing fee and share
- SI sportsbook will debut first in Colorado this fall
888 Partners with Sports Illustrated Brand
Their partnership comes in a licensing deal that gives 888 Casino rights to the Sports Illustrated brand name. In exchange, Authentic Brands, owner of the SI name, gets a licensing fee and a passive interest in the company.
888 Chief Executive, Itai Pazner, comments on why they are excited about the deal:
“We think this is kind of the missing piece in our American puzzle… It will give us the local brand we were missing, access to a huge audience, and opportunity to communicate with this audience on an ongoing basis.”Itai Pazner
Established in 1997, the Gibraltar-based 888 is one of the oldest internet gambling operations globally and has served US customers since 2013.
In its 57-year history, Sports Illustrated has built a website that attracts 30 million visitors and earned a reputation for award-winning writing and photography in its magazine. Authentic Brands purchased the Sports Illustrated name in 2019 for $110 million.
Colorado Gets First Access
888 expects to launch the SI sportsbook in Colorado this fall, with more states to follow. The company has agreements to offer online wagering in New Jersey, Indiana, and Iowa.
Twenty-one US states offer sports wagering, 15 of them host online sportsbooks, and nine other states have legalized gambling on the way.
The Deal By The Numbers
Let’s take a look at the license and break down the stats. How does the deal shake out for both sides, and what’s in it for Sports Illustrated?
Stay Tuned for an Epic Collaboration
This SI-888 deal is another sign that the international gambling market is taking notice of the potential of US online gambling. As more states turn to internet gambling for extra revenue, the industry will continue its growth spurt.
The licensing fee and other details of the 888-Sports Illustrated joint venture are still to come. Expect more news on this deal and others from OUSC as internet sports betting grows in the US.