101 Studios and Authentic Brands Group Launch Sports Illustrated Studios
Today, Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and 101 Studios announced the formation of Sports Illustrated Studios, the exclusive vehicle to develop, produce and distribute long-form film, television and audio content based on the brand’s present and future work, as well as SI’s extensive and unparalleled archives of culture-shaping stories and photography. For more than 65 years, the most important and memorable stories in sports have been told by one brand – Sports Illustrated – and this new venture will bring these compelling and riveting stories to the big and small screen with the same voice, journalistic integrity, character and trust that has defined SI for nearly seven decades.
Along with covering the biggest moments and brightest stars on and off the field, Sports Illustrated delivers unique looks at the culture and characters that transcend the game. From recent true crime yarns like the All-Star Café heist (a comically botched robbery at a 1990s sports celebrity theme restaurant) and The Peggy Show (a trusted advisor who embezzled millions from some of the biggest names in sports) to gripping emotional portraits of perseverance and human spirit (The Logan Effect, Love and Lhotse), SI continues to offer new wrinkles on the sports stories you thought you knew—and tell new ones you didn’t.
Sports Illustrated Studios will reimagine and recreate these moments in new and unexpected ways, as well as create compelling sports lifestyle programming that fans of sports – and human interest more broadly – are clamoring for. The new studio will become home to feature films, documentaries, scripted and reality TV, mini-series and scripted podcasts. The venture plans an ambitious slate of several television series and feature films per year.
101 Studios will be managing and overseeing all production, distribution and marketing for Sports Illustrated Studios in collaboration with ABG.
“At the core of 101 Studios, we seek to tell stories that create cultural conversations, which is the same pillar behind the stories that have been told and continue to be told by Sports Illustrated,” said David Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios. “Sports Illustrated has covered every major story in sports since the 1950’s and, before the Internet, they were often the only publication covering the most famous and memorable stories in depth. Through this new partnership, we have the chance to bring these archival and current stories to life in ways people have never seen before.”
At the helm of all projects will be esteemed writers, directors and producers who are not only experts at telling stories, but who have an affinity and infatuation for sports.
The first project to be announced is a docu-series entitled “Covers.” Based on SI’s top cover stories of all time, each episode will chronicle iconic moments in sports history through this new lens. For decades, being selected to be on the Sports Illustrated cover is seen as one of the most sought-after honor in sports. The magazine has published thousands of covers featuring the world’s most disruptive professional athletes including Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, Sidney Crosby and Megan Rapinoe as well as influential sports teams, celebrities and political figures. The series will dive into these covers while also giving viewers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into what went into creating each of them.
“Sports Illustrated is far and away the most trusted name in sports. And with Sports Illustrated Studios, we not only have the opportunity to retell the magazine’s legendary and iconic stories to fans and athletes alike, but we also will be introducing new generations to the immersive world of sports as told by Sports Illustrated,” added David Hutkin, COO of 101 Studios. “ABG has been a wonderful partner to us and we look forward to releasing content that reminds audiences of the thrill, pain, glory and excitement behind the most famous events in sports history.”
The inception of SI Studios is a pivotal moment in the evolution of the Sports Illustrated brand while also diversifying ABG Entertainment, Authentic Brands Group’s media and entertainment vertical. “The creation of a studio dedicated to developing original programming is a key building block for the future of Sports Illustrated and ABG,” said Jamie Salter, Founder, Chairman and CEO of ABG, owner of Sports Illustrated. “Less than a year after acquiring the brand, we have made great strides in tapping the value of this franchise and expanding its reach across sports, culture and entertainment. This partnership is a testament to the strength of SI and the ingenuity of 101 Studios.”
“So much of Sports Illustrated’s legacy has been built on phenomenal reporting and writing,” said Ross Levinsohn, CEO of Sports Illustrated Media. “We are thrilled that the in-depth stories that have come to define Sports Illustrated’s unrivaled storytelling will be further enlivened though this new studio. Now is the perfect time to expand SI further into film and television with content that thrills and engages both sports fans and general audiences.”
Michele Newman from 101 Studios and Aerin Snow and Leif Cervantes de Reinstein from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton handled the deal for 101 Studios. Corey Salter, Marc Rosen and Colin Smeeton represented ABG.
For more information, visit SportsIllustratedStudios.com. Follow @SIStudios_ on Twitter and @SportsIllustratedStudios on Facebook and Instagram.
About 101 Studios:
101 Studios is a global entertainment company dedicated to the acquisition, financing, development, production and distribution of high-caliber, creator-driven storytelling. The studio empowers content creators through first-class collaboration and innovation. On the television side, 101 produces Taylor Sheridan’s hit series for Paramount Network Yellowstone, starring Kevin Costner as well as Sheridan’s upcoming series Mayor of Kingstown. Other upcoming television projects include Skin Tight and Under the Influence.
On the film side, past releases include Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s The Current War: Director’s Cut, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon as well as the Sundance Audience award winner Burden featuring Forest Whitaker and Garrett Hedlund. Upcoming releases include the Russo Brothers acclaimed film City of a Million Soldiers and the French sensation La Belle Epoque.
About Authentic Brands Group:
Authentic Brands Group (ABG) is a brand development, marketing, and entertainment company, which owns a portfolio of global media, entertainment, and lifestyle brands. Headquartered in New York City, ABG elevates and builds the long-term value of more than 50 consumer brands and properties by partnering with best-in-class manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. Its brands have a global retail footprint in more than 100,000 points of sale across the luxury, specialty, department store, mid-tier, mass, and e-commerce channels, and more than 5,500 freestanding stores and shop-in-shops around the world.
ABG is committed to transforming brands by delivering compelling product, content, business, and immersive experiences. It creates and activates original marketing strategies to drive the success of its brands across all consumer touchpoints, platforms, and emerging media. ABG’s portfolio of iconic and world-renowned brands generates more than $12 billion in annual retail sales and includes Marilyn Monroe®, Elvis Presley®, Muhammad Ali®, Shaquille O’Neal®, Sports Illustrated®, Dr. J®, Greg Norman®, Neil Lane®, Thalia®, Nautica®, Aéropostale®, Forever 21®, Juicy Couture®, Vince Camuto®, Herve Leger®, Judith Leiber®, Barneys New York®, Frederick’s of Hollywood®, Nine West®, Frye®, Jones New York®, Louise et Cie®, Sole Society®, Enzo Angiolini®, CC Corso Como®, Hickey Freeman®, Hart Schaffner Marx®, Adrienne Vittadini®, Taryn Rose®, Bandolino®, Misook®, Spyder®, Tretorn®, Tapout®, Prince®, Volcom®, Airwalk®, Vision Street Wear®, Above The Rim®, Hind®, Thomasville®, Drexel®, and Henredon®.
For more information, visit authenticbrandsgroup.com.
About Sports Illustrated:
Sports Illustrated (SI) is an unparalleled and influential leader recognized for its role in shaping modern culture and uniting athletes, teams and fans from all over the world. Powerful storytelling is brought to life through world-class live events, immersive experiences, and lifestyle products.
Its award-winning media enterprise captures moments and turns them into history through rich and thoughtful journalism, iconic and beloved photography, and across digital platforms ranging from Emmy-winning video to an ever-expanding social community. The Sports Illustrated cover is the most coveted real estate in sports media and one of the most recognizable honors in American culture. Brand extensions include the groundbreaking Sports Illustrated Swim franchise and Sports Illustrated Kids, which delivers inspiring content for kids who live for sports.
SI shares its unique and authentic perspective year-round through marquee events, key activations and partnerships, star-studded celebrations, and VIP-access to athletes and A-list celebrities. Tentpoles include the annual Super Bowl celebration: “The Party,” Fashionable Fifty, and the history-making Sportsperson of the Year Awards.