Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

Sports Illustrated, the iconic sports publication, has gutted its editorial staff.

So it might come as a surprise to learn that the Sports Illustrated Invitational — touted as “the ultimate golf excursion for A-List celebrities, athletes and golf enthusiasts” — is still on, to be held in Las Vegas on Thursday, Feb. 8, ahead of this year’s Super Bowl.

What’s going on here? The weird optics are the result of the different entities that have had the rights to the Sports Illustrated brand.

The SI Invitational golf tournament is produced by Authentic Brands Group, the brand-management firm that purchased Sports Illustrated from Meredith for $110 million, in partnership with ENTER. 

Separately, ABG licensed the rights to publish Sports Illustrated the magazine to a company called Arena Group — but after the Arena Group missed a recent $3.75 million payment, ABG revoked the license, leading the Arena Group to institute major job cuts at the publication.

The second annual Sports Illustrated Invitational will tee off in Feb. 8 at TPC Las Vegas. The event will be hosted by comedy golf podcast team from Country Club Adjacent with special guests including Las Vegas Raiders star Maxx Crosby and social-media personality and former pro golfer Paige Spiranac. Invited foursomes will tee it up for 18 holes of championship-level golf with the winners taking home the SI Invitational Cup. The event will be followed by an official after-party at Hakkasan Nightclub at MGM Grand.

Last year’s first-ever SI Invitational was held in Scottsdale, Ariz., at the Talking Stick Resort. Previous golf outing participants include Anthony Anderson, Camille Kostek, Fat Joe, Justin Tuck, Michael Strahan, Pete Wentz, Schoolboy Q, Bryan Greenberg, Billy Crudup, Chandler Parsons, Brandon Thomas Lee, Cam Akers, Chord Overstreet, Austin Reaves, Kelsey Grammer, Kendra Wilkinson, Presley Gerber, Wells Adams and more.

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