Black Media Collective Group Might Be Purchasing A Majority Stake In Sports Illustrated Publishing

Black Media Collective Group Might Be Purchasing A Majority Stake In Sports Illustrated Publishing

Group Black, a Black media company, has set its sights on buying a majority stake in the publisher of a well-known sports magazine.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the media company is said to be in talks with Arena Group Holdings Inc. The potential deal would make Group Black the owner of the publisher for Sports Illustrated. Although Authentic Brands Group owns Sports Illustrated, Arena Group Holdings Inc. has a licensing agreement that grants it the rights to publish Sports Illustrated for 100 years, according to The New York Post.

The collective of more than 150 Black-owned media brands did not publicly comment on the matter; neither did Arena Group Holdings Inc. 

Shares in Arena Group Holdings Inc. went up after word got out that the groups were possibly negotiating a deal. Market Watch reported that on June 26, 2023, shares closed up 12.3% at $4.11. As of noon Eastern Standard Time (EST) on June 27, 2023, Market Watch showed shares were open at $5.10. According to the group’s newsroom, Arena Group Holdings Inc. is a digital-media publisher with over 240 brands. The group also publishes Parade, The Spun, and Men’s Journal, to name a few.

Group Black was co-founded by three Black entrepreneurs, Travis Montaque, Richelieu Dennis, and Bonin Bougha, in 2021. The group started with a mission to invest in Black media firms to help them grow. Today, the collective includes Black media movers and shakers like Essence, The Shade Room, AfroPunk,, and hundreds more.

Group Black previously submitted a $400 million bid for the embattled Vice Media. Vice is a leading independent youth media company centered on underrepresented groups and women. Group Black has also secured deals with such massive properties as Procter & Gamble and Peacock.

Sports Illustrated, which is known for its annual Swimsuit Issue, has been considered a showcase for first-rate sports journalism for decades.