A new chain of Sports Illustrated-branded lifestyle and entertainment resorts are set to be opened in North America.
Sports Illustrated Resorts is the latest expansion of the brand from Authentic Brands Group (ABG), the business that acquired the famous sports publication’s rights in 2019. A Sports Illustrated sports betting platform powered by 888 launched in Colorado last year, with that business set to be boosted by the development of the resorts.
The first Sports Illustrated property, developed in partnership with ADMI and Experiential Ventures Hospitality, is expected to be unveiled in 2022 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Plans are also underway for the development of an interactive hotel and resort in Florida as well as other destinations throughout the continental US and Hawaii.
“The mission of Sports Illustrated Resorts is to provide a vibrant and interactive experience,” said Joseph Cellura, chairman of ADMI, and Christopher Schroeder, chief executive of Experiential Ventures Hospitality.
“People are looking for experiences that allow them to be more active and participatory, and Sports Illustrated Resorts will create the ultimate immersive experiences for guests through the various hospitality categories and destinations we plan to enter.”
ADMI and Experiential Ventures specialize in experience-driven hospitality, themed entertainment, retail, and innovative technology in a live, work, and play environment. They have worked with leading global brands including Disney and MGM.
Each Sports Illustrated Resort will include a host of attractions from live action sports and entertainment to quality dining, wellness and relaxation. The portfolio of properties is expected to include golf destinations, beach clubs, eco-adventure lodges and large-format resorts.
“We are excited to expand Sports Illustrated in such a thrilling and interactive way, engaging travellers, families and sports fans like never before,” said Dan Dienst, executive vice chairman of ABG.
“ADMI’s vision for Sports Illustrated Resorts is to create a portfolio of immersive lifestyle properties that will become go-to destinations for individuals and families seeking active vacation experiences.”
Under the commercial agreement signed last year by ABG and 888, the gaming group has an exclusive license for the use of the Sports Illustrated brand and trademarks for online sports betting and igaming, and some exclusive advertising and editorial integration rights on select Sports Illustrated branded digital assets.
As part of the transaction, ABG will receive brand license and affiliate fees, and a minority passive interest in the 888 group company holding certain of its US licensed B2C activity.