The Arena Group (AREN), publisher of Sports Illustrated, acquires Golf Destination Morning Read


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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, The street 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’s 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 Read. “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.”

Michael C. Ford