Meet The Man Who Just Bought ‘Sports Illustrated’ For $110 Million
Jamie Salter has a knack for sports world icons—his company, Authentic Brands Group, handles names from Muhammad Ali to Shaquille O'Neal. Late last night, he added another to his brand portfolio: ABG announced the purchase of the intellectual property of Sports Illustrated from Meredith Corporation for $110 million.
“As one of the most iconic brands in sports media, SI is a cultural centerpiece with massive opportunities for growth across its burgeoning digital, TV and social platforms and industry-leading print magazine,” Salter, whom Forbes profiled last fall, said in a statement. “SI’s trusted name and fiercely devoted following set the stage for the brand to become a leader in lifestyle and entertainment.”
Meredith will pay a licensing fee to operate Sports Illustrated and SI.com for at least two years as part of the deal; ABG plans to focus on expanding the brand into areas including live events, gambling, eSports and video. Meredith has now raked in approximately $450 million from the sale of Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated in its fiscal 2019.
“In addition to continuing to produce independent, award-winning journalism and storytelling—what Jamie Salter has described as the heart of SI—we are now perfectly positioned, with the support and resources of ABG, to thrive in many other spaces,” added Chris Stone, Sports Illustrated’s editor-in-chief.
For Salter, 56, the sporting world has long been a foundation. He started out in the 1980s selling windsurfing equipment before getting into the snowboard business, eventually settling into the licensing world. Salter launched ABG in 2010 with $250 million raised mostly from private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners as well as billionaires including George Soros and the Walton family.