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  • Ross Levinsohn

Arena Group completes purchase of Morning Read

US media company Arena Group, which operates 240 brands, including Sports Illustrated, has bought golf publisher Morning Read from Buffalo Groupe, for an undisclosed sum.


The acquisition continues the expansion of The Arena Group’s sports publishing portfolio 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 experienced editorial team, newsletter subscriber base, and e-commerce business will accelerate revenue and audience growth across The Arena Group’s sports media vertical.

According to Google Analytics, Sports Illustrated reported 174% year-over-year growth in average monthly page views in the second quarter. Across all channel, it reached 1.5 billion visitors last quarter and has established an golf audience of 40 million monthly digital visitors.

“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.

Chris Pirrone, SVP & General Manager of Sports Illustrated Media Group, added: “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 “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 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.


Pirrone added: “It’s a pretty wild time for golf. The audience engagement is the highest I’ve known it. Not only are the PGA and LPGA Tours creating interesting storylines, but the introduction of LIV and how the competition between tours brings out players’ personalities and increases competition is generating a lot of conversation. It’s really interesting to talk golf with people now because it stems way beyond who won and who lost and what equipment they’re using. There are now all these conversations around the business of golf and how it fits together.”

Kyle Ragsdale, CEO of Buffalo Groupe, said: “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. 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.”


Full story: https://golfbusinessnews.com/news/media/arena-group-completes-purchase-of-buffalo-groupes-morning-read/



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