Sports Illustrated may be looking at a new owner in the near future. Group Black is rumored to be chatting up Arena Group Holdings Inc about purchasing a majority stake in the sports magazine along with dozens of other magazines.
Group Black is a Black media company founded in 2021 by Travis Montaque, Richelieu Dennis, and Bonin Bougha. Group Media has a mission to “dramatically transform the face of media ownership and investment” and has been named one of the Ten Most Innovative Companies in Media for 2023.
The company encompasses over 150 Black-owned media brands and is eyeing Sports Illustrated as the company’s next venture as a way to acquire more advertising space for its media brands.
Sports Illustrated has been around since 1954 and was the first weekly printed national magazine with a focus on live sports events covering everything from rugby to football. The magazine had a rocky start but has since proven itself to be a staple in the sports world.
As reported by The New York Post, “The company has secured a commitment from WPP, the ad-buying giant, to spend $75 million of its client ad budgets with media entities under Group Black’s umbrella.” Sports Illustrated is owned by Authentic Brands Group and has a 100-year licensing agreement with Arena Group Holdings Inc which began in 2019, so it’s far from over.
Neither group has yet to make a statement on the matter, so any type of agreement is only speculation at this point. However, Arena Group Holdings Inc shares went up 12.3 percent after rumors started spreading about the potential deal according to Market Watch, which could be promising for both companies if they form a partnership. Shares opened at $5.10 on June 27th, up from $4.11 at the close of Monday.