A Sports Illustrated sportsbook could be coming your way before the start of the NFL season, as the Authentic Brands Group owned publication inked a deal with 888 Holdings to develop Sports Illustrated online sports betting and iGaming products in the U.S.
888 Holdings plans to launch the first SI Sportsbook, as the book will be called, in Colorado later this year.
There were no initial mentions of plans to launch in New York. The New York online sports betting program will begin in late 2021.
20-year Exclusive Partnership
The 20-year deal includes 4.99% equity interest for Sports Illustrated and options to acquire an additional 5% stake for $15 million and a further 5% stake for $25 million, according to an 888 Holdings presentation.
Authentic Brands Group will grant 888 Holdings an exclusive license to use the Sports Illustrated brand and trademarks for the online sportsbook and iGaming opportunities.
It’s the latest agreement between a well-known sports brand and established gaming operator, a model used previously with companies such as Penn National Gaming and Barstool Sports for the Barstool Sportsbook and Stars Group and Fox for FoxBet.
“We are thrilled to announce that Sports Illustrated is entering the online sports betting and iGaming space,” ABG founder, Chairman and CEO Jamie Salter said in a statement. “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.”
Coming First to Colorado in 2021
According to an 888 Holdings presentation, the SI Sportsbook will first launch in Colorado later in 2021 and be available in four states soon after. The company has immediate market access agreements in place to launch the sportsbook in New Jersey, Iowa and Indiana as well.
The four states have a cumulative population of nearly 25 million and a potential market size of nearly $1.8 billion. The company hopes to add further market access agreements at a rate of two to four states per year, according to the presentation.
888 Holdings currently has online casino and poker offerings in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, with market access agreements in place for Pennsylvania, Iowa, Colorado, Indiana and Michigan.
“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,” 888 CEO Itai Pazner said in a statement.
Sports Illustrated will provide gambling data, trends, information and features on its digital platform and will publish a gambling themed issue of the magazine in August.
The publication plans to launch in-depth gambling coverage in the fall, including new tools, analysis and widgets for readers.
888 Holdings, which is located in Gibraltar, is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.