Sports Illustrated Publisher, The Arena Group, Acquires Golf Destination Morning Read
NEW YORK—(BUSINESS WIRE) — The Arena Group (NYSE American: AREN) (the “Company” or “The Arena Group”), the tech-powered media company operating more than 240 brands, including Sports Illustrated, TheStreet and Parade, today finalized its purchase of golf publisher Morning Read from Buffalo Groupe, LLC. The acquisition continues the expansion of The Arena Group’s sports vertical, focusing on in-depth coverage of the golf world — from breaking news and championship coverage to podcasts, video travel, and interview series at SI.com/golf. With the acquisition, the Company will rebrand its golf coverage to SI Golf.
The addition of Morning Read’s industry-leading and trusted editorial team, highly engaged newsletter subscriber base, and strong e-commerce business will accelerate revenue and audience growth across The Arena Group’s sports media vertical. According to Google Analytics, Sports Illustrated Media Group reported 174% year-over-year growth in average monthly page views in the second quarter. Across all verticals, the Company reached 1.5 billion visitors last quarter and has established an avid golf audience of 40 million monthly digital visitors (according to Liveramp and Google Analytics).
“This is another step in growing quality storytelling and experiences for consumers, further expanding our footprint in one of the most valuable categories in all of sports,” said Ross Levinsohn, CEO of The Arena Group and Sports Illustrated.
“The evolution of our year-long relationship with Morning Read created an exceptional opportunity for our sports arena to expand SI’s illustrious golf coverage with a talented in-house editorial team,” said Chris Pirrone, SVP & General Manager of Sports Illustrated Media Group. “We are excited to add depth and expertise on professional and amateur golfers, influencers, culture, equipment, travel and much more, for the high household income visitors who frequent our sports, finance, and lifestyle brands.”
Morning Read first became an editorial partner with The Arena Group in 2021, providing compelling coverage around the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour, and the newly formed LIV Golf Tour, plus original videos and podcasts. Morning Read’s editorial team joins The Arena Group alongside Sports Illustrated journalists and award-winning editorial staff to deliver print and digital content across all platforms. The team will report to Managing Director of SI Golf, Jeff Ritter, with the recent addition of Billy Condon from Golfweek to lead the golf revenue strategy.
“Morning Read was created for golf enthusiasts to start their day with the most comprehensive original golf content and partnering with Sports Illustrated has not only expanded our audience, but created the ultimate golf destination,” said Kyle Ragsdale, CEO of Buffalo Groupe, LLC which operates Morning Read. “We are extremely proud of Morning Read’s evolution which is directly attributed to the editorial and leadership team of Buffalo Media Network and look forward to seeing continued growth.”
About The Arena Group
The Arena Group creates robust digital destinations that delight consumers with powerful journalism, news about the things they love — their favorite sports teams, advice on investing, the inside scoop on personal finance, and the latest on lifestyle essentials. With powerful technology, editorial expertise, data management and marketing savvy, the transformative company enables brands like Sports Illustrated, TheStreet and Parade to deliver highly relevant content and experiences that consumers love. To learn more, visit www.thearenagroup.net.
About Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated (SI) is an unparalleled and influential leader recognized for shaping modern culture and uniting athletes, teams and fans worldwide. SI’s award-winning media enterprise brings powerful storytelling to life across platforms ranging from Emmy-winning video to the monthly print magazine with a 67-year heritage. Get in-depth features, probing profiles, and iconic and beloved photography from the best writers and photojournalists in the game at SI.com.
About Buffalo Groupe, LLC
Buffalo Groupe, LLC is a collection of agencies, events and media properties that authentically serve the escape industries of golf, outdoor recreation, travel, lifestyle, real estate and active sport. The collection is comprised of industry leading companies including Buffalo Agency, BGRM, 54 Brands, Longitudes Group, The First Call and Moments Live. Guided by our core principles of kindness, clarity and courage, our people adhere to a Groupe-wide foundational philosophy to connect brands and lifestyle audiences through content. Buffalo Groupe is headquartered in Charleston, SC with company offices in Washington, DC, Charlotte, Charleston, Portland and LA. For more information visit www.buffalogroupe.com.
Manager, Public Relations The Arena Group
Managing Director, Buffalo Agency
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