Authentic Brands Group revoked Sports Illustrated’s marketing license, according to an email sent by the Arena Group, the outlet’s parent company. ABG acquired the outlet in 2019 for $110 million, which included its intellectual property. Additionally, ABG owns the IP to late celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, and sports retailer Reebok.
“As a result of this license revocation, we will be laying off staff that work on the SI brand,” the email from Arena Group to employees read.
Meanwhile, staff at the Los Angeles Times held a walkout Friday to protest the planned layoffs, which could include about 20% of the staff, or about 100 reporters, according to the outlet. However, the LA Times Guild is still demanding a concrete headcount along with the costs the paper is attempting to save as it negotiates a contract with management.
“Times management has asked the Guild to make an impossible decision. If we agree to their request, they could lay off almost any of our members. It is union-busting at its core and presents a false choice for preserving diversity within our ranks,” a statement from the guild read.
Sports Illustrated is a monthly publication as of 2020, while the Los Angeles Times is a daily publication.