COLUMBIA SPORTSWRESTLING is about to get its own version of “Sports Illustrated,” with the company re-branding itself after a deal with Nike was announced last year.
Sports Illustrated, which launched in 1967, is still owned by CBS, but Sports Illustrated’s owners and owners-in-waiting, including CBS, will split ownership of the brand, with Sports Illustrated and the magazine becoming a single entity under a deal announced Thursday.
The new Sports Illustrated will be owned by a group led by Sports Illustrated editor-in of print and online content, Kevin Ives, who will oversee the brand.
Ives is currently a producer on “SportsCenter,” but he said he will also help oversee the new Sports Insider, which will feature articles, video, and interviews.
The brand will be headed by longtime Sports Illustrated contributor Mike Priefer, who said he’s excited to help “bring a fresh perspective to this great magazine and to help make it one of the most popular brands in the world.”
Priefer said he wants to bring an innovative approach to the brand that he believes will complement and evolve it from the outside.
He’s already started to explore ways to take Sports Illustrated outside of sports, and he hopes to work with ESPN and ESPN2 to develop a sports programming platform that would allow for a deeper engagement with sports fans.
Priefers team will also be working with a handful of other top journalists, including John McEnroe, a sports writer for the New York Post and former ESPN commentator, and Mark Maske, a longtime sports reporter for ESPN.
The team will be led by former ESPN beat writer Brian Murphy.
Pughers team also plans to launch a new digital magazine, with more than 100 articles and two podcasts.
The magazine will be produced in partnership with the sports network Sports Illustrated, with the first issue to be released this fall.
“The idea is to bring in a whole new team of journalists, editors and producers,” Priefers said.
“We want to make sure that this brand is well-versed in the new ways that we’re talking about.
We want to build a team of sports reporters who have an understanding of how to think about the brand in terms of sports and its relevance to people’s lives.”
The new magazine will have an all-new look, too, with a new look, logo and font, and a new, redesigned homepage that will feature a more contemporary design that looks like a traditional sports site.
Priefing said the new design will be used on the site, and the brand will also continue to use a black background on the front cover, which is the same color as the back cover.
Sports Insider is set to debut in the fall, and its first issue will be published next year.