Sports Illustrated plots US igaming and betting charge alongside 888

888 and Authentic Brands Group have teamed-up to develop online sports betting and igaming products in the United States for the latter’s Sports Illustrated brand.

Leveraging the online gambling’s group’s tech, 888 says that it expects to kick start the collaboration with the launch of the branded SI Sportsbook in Colorado during the second half of 2021, with other states set to follow. 

“We are thrilled to announce that Sports Illustrated is entering the online sports betting and igaming space,” explained Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and CEO of ABG.

“Sports wagering represents a large and high-growth market, allowing us to diversify the brand’s revenue streams and engage directly with our sports consumers, broadening the reach of the brand. 

“888 is one of the leaders in online betting and gaming globally and has outstanding technology, products and marketing capabilities, and we are excited to partner with them to offer an innovative product experience for sports fans.” 

888 will also be granted an exclusive license for the use of the Sports Illustrated brand and trademarks for online casino and sports betting, and certain exclusive advertising and editorial integration rights on select digital assets.

As part of the transaction, ABG will receive certain brand license and affiliate fees, and a minority passive interest in the group. In addition, during the term of the commercial agreement, 888 has agreed to a minimum annual advertising commitment on certain ABG media assets.

Itai Pazner, CEO of 888, commented: “We are delighted to announce this strategic partnership, enabling us to accelerate our investment into the US, which represents one of the most exciting long-term growth opportunities for our company. 

“Sports Illustrated is an iconic sports media brand, with high awareness and consumer loyalty. This agreement provides us access to millions of engaged sports fans across the US, giving us a high-volume and cost-effective customer acquisition channel, and great content to engage sports fans. 

“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.”