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The Rise and Fall of Sports Illustrated

Graphic by ATD Media, Photo(s) by Sports Illustrated

The sports world has gotten some unfortunate news regarding one of the largest sports magazine companies that was founded 70 years ago (1954). Sports Illustrated made history when they became the first magazine with circulation over one million to win the National Magazine Award for General Excellence twice.

The 70-year old company made headlines yesterday when The Arena Group announced that they have given notice that it intends to lay off Sports Illustrated's entire staff, according to an email obtained by FOS (Front Office Sports).

The Arena Group failed to pay Authentic Brands Group $3.75 million in quarterly licensing fees on January 5, 2024. On January 19, two weeks afterward, Authentic Brand Group ended their licensing arrangement. The Arena Group consequently said that it will be terminating every employee of Sports Illustrated.

The news comes at quite the shock for fans of all ages. Sports Illustrated has been a staple in so many readers lives for years. Many journalists, including myself, grew up reading and loving the content that Sports Illustrated provided. Many dreamed about one day becoming a journalist for this great company.

Sports Illustrated covered all sports and did it well. For us baseball fans, journalists, and even athletes, we all have enjoyed their content in different ways. We can all remember what our personal favorite covers we had pinned up on our walls growing up.

We all have extremely fond memories of bonding over these magazines. Coming home from school and seeing which issue of Sports Illustrated waited on the counter, was a feeling that can't be replicated. Bonding with family members who loved, not only baseball, but sports as a whole and sharing good times with this exact magazine sitting in front of us.

Although the future of Sports Illustrated is unclear, the writing is on the wall for the company to be put to rest. The rise and fall of this company has been quite extraordinary. Sports Illustrated will always be remembered for their great magazine covers, top tier journalists, and most importantly, the impact they had on so many childhoods.

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