Sports Illustrated, 888 Announce Online Sports Betting Deal, Rebranding

Written By David Danzis on June 25, 2021

Online sports betting operator 888 Holdings has reached an agreement to license the iconic Sports Illustrated name to rebrand its U.S. gaming products.

SI Sportsbook will launch in Colorado later this year, U.K.-based 888 said Thursday in a news release. Other states where 888 operates, including New Jersey, will follow.

SI owner Authentic Brands Group will receive monetary compensation and a minority interest in 888. In exchange, 888 will have an exclusive license for up to 20 years to use the SI brand for online sports betting and iGaming.

“Sports Illustrated is an iconic sports media brand, with high awareness and consumer loyalty,” said Itai Pazner, CEO of 888. “This agreement provides us access to millions of engaged sports fans across the U.S., giving us a high-volume and cost-effective customer acquisition channel, and great content to engage sports fans.”

Sports media taking a swing at online sports betting

Established betting and sports media brands are joining together to capitalize on the growing U.S. gambling market.

Ballys Corp.’s acquisition of Sinclair Broadcasting’s regional sports networks, Penn National Gaming and Barstool Sports, along with Stars Group and Fox Sports are examples

Jamie Salter, ABG founder, chairman, and CEO, said the company is “thrilled,” about Sports Illustrated entering the online gaming space

“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,” said Salter.

888 operates in NJ through a partnership with Caesars Interactive Entertainment. Besides 888 sport, the company also offers online poker and casino products.

Financial details of 888

888 Holdings has been a player in the sports betting arena for decades. The company was founded in 1997 and is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.

According to financial reports, 888 had $849.7 million in revenue in 2020. Nearly 70% ($586.8 million) came from casino products and 14% ($122.1 million) from sports wagering.

Photo by Dreamstime
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David Danzis

David Danzis is an award-winning journalist who has covered business, politics, government, education, and sports in New Jersey. Most recently, he wrote about Atlantic City casinos, online gaming, and sports betting for The Press of Atlantic City. David is a graduate of Rutgers University.

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