Sports Illustrated expands golf coverage and acquires Morning Read
A new chapter in Sports Illustrated’s golf coverage is about to begin.
Today, The Arena Group, which publishes Sports Illustrated, announced the formal acquisition of Morning Read, which was previously owned by Buffalo Group. As a reader, you may know that SI.com and Morning Read have worked together as editorial partners for over a year. This partnership proved to be a win for both companies, but more importantly, it was a boon for readers, as together SI and MR went further and further with coverage and created a must-visit daily destination for golf enthusiasts.
To put it simply: Sports Illustrated golf coverage is about to reach another level.
Here’s what this new chapter means for you. First, Morning Read newsletter subscribers will continue to receive them in inboxes six days a week, with travel and gear-focused editions on Tuesdays and Fridays. (And if you haven’t signed up for those free newsletters, what are you waiting for?) SI’s golf homepage address remains the same and has a new look, and expect to be more dynamic as SI Golf evolves.
Then, a quick recap: some of the greatest sportswriters to ever wield a notebook graced the pages of SI while covering this game, from Grantland Rice, Herbert Warren Wind and Dan Jenkins, to Frank Deford, Rick Reilly, Alan Shipnuck and Michael Bamberger. The SI.com Vault is a treasure trove of some of the greatest game stories, features and profiles golf has ever written. A fan can get lost in it for a long time. Frankly, there are worse ways to spend a weekend.
Now we’re ready to add to that historic story with more news, features, and analysis every day. Count on SI.com Golf Coverage to be an industry leader for original reporting. (For recent examples, check out our news on LIV Golf’s 2023 schedule or our interview with Phil Mickelson.) Our top on-course reporters, Bob Harig and Alex Miceli, are industry stalwarts who, combined, can have the entire PGA, LPGA, Europe and LIV Golf tours in their respective rolodexes. Along with Editor-in-Chief John Schwarb, they will join SI Senior Editors Michael Rosenberg and Stephanie Apstein to give us possibly the strongest golf news team in the business. And we’re not stopping there: we’re also hiring a new journalist to join our team as we continue to grow.
Our evolution will extend beyond tour information – we plan to strengthen our coverage of other topics of interest to golf fans, including equipment, travel destinations, games and betting. Look for more new features coming soon in these areas, and many more.
It’s an exciting time in the pace of golf, and we wouldn’t be here without you. Here is everything that awaits us at SI Golf, ready for take-off.
Here is the full press release announcing the acquisition of Sports Illustrated/Morning Read:
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Arena Group (NYSE American: AREN) (the “Company” or “The Arena Group”), the technology-driven media company operating more than 240 brands, including Sports Illustrated, TheStreet and Parade, today completed its purchase of golf publisher Morning Read from Buffalo Group, LLC. The acquisition continues the expansion of The Arena Group’s sports vertical, focusing on in-depth coverage of the world of golf – from breaking news and championship coverage to podcasts, video trips and interview series on SI.com/golf. With the acquisition, the company will rebrand its golf coverage to SI Golf.
The addition of Morning Read’s leading and trusted editorial team, highly engaged newsletter subscriber base and strong e-commerce business will accelerate revenue and audience growth in Arena Group sports media vertical. According to Google Analytics, Sports Illustrated Media Group saw 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 established a golf-loving audience of 40 million monthly digital visitors (according to Liveramp and Google Analytics).
“This is another step in growing storytelling and quality consumer experiences, further expanding our footprint in one of the most valuable categories in all of sports,” said Ross Levinsohn, CEO. from The Arena Group and Sports Illustrated.
“The evolution of our year-long relationship with Morning Read has created an exceptional opportunity for our sports arena to extend SI’s illustrious golf coverage with a talented in-house editorial team,” said Chris Pirrone, SVP and Director. CEO of Sports Illustrated Media Group. “We are excited to add depth and expertise on professional and amateur golfers, influencers, culture, gear, travel and more, for high-income visitors who frequent our brands. sport, finance and lifestyle.”
Morning Read first became an editorial partner of The Arena Group in 2021, delivering compelling coverage of the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and new LIV Golf Tour, as well as original videos and podcasts. Morning Read’s editorial team joins The Arena Group alongside Sports Illustrated journalists and the award-winning editorial team to deliver print and digital content across all platforms. The team will report to SI Golf General Manager Jeff Ritter with the recent addition of Golfweek’s Billy Condon to lead golf’s revenue strategy.
“Morning Read was created for golf enthusiasts to start their day with the most comprehensive original golf content and the partnership with Sports Illustrated has not only expanded our audience, but also created the ultimate golf destination,” said Kyle Ragsdale, CEO of Buffalo Group, LLC which operates Morning Reading. “We are extremely proud of the evolution of Morning Read, which is directly attributed to the editorial and management team at Buffalo Media Network and look forward to seeing continued growth.”
About Arena Group
Arena Group creates robust digital destinations that delight consumers with powerful journalism, news about the things they love – their favorite sports teams, investment advice, the inside scoop on personal finance and the latest on lifestyle essentials. Using 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 around the world. SI’s award-winning media company brings powerful storytelling to life on platforms ranging from Emmy-winning video to monthly print magazine with a 67-year legacy. Get in-depth features, polling profiles, and iconic and beloved photography from the game’s top writers and photojournalists at SI.com.
About Buffalo Group, LLC
Buffalo Group, LLC is a collection of agencies, events and media properties that authentically serve the golf getaway, outdoor recreation, travel, lifestyle, real estate and entertainment industries. active sports. 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 Caring, Clarity and Courage, our people adhere to a core Group-wide philosophy to connect brands and lifestyle audiences through content. Buffalo Group is headquartered in Charleston, SC with offices in Washington, DC, Charlotte, Charleston, Portland and LA. For more information, visit www.buffalogroupe.com.