Sports Illustrated publisher Maven has formed a strategic content partnership with Dugout, offering soccer fans in the US and Canada an entirely new way to view and experience unique, compelling and behind-the-scenes premium video content from more than 100 of the world’s leading soccer clubs, national football federations and leagues.
The landmark partnership is Dugout’s first entry into the US market and will significantly strengthen SI’s soccer coverage, which previously focused on text-based content. The partnership will allow both companies to reach more consumers across the Americas, in a way that matters most to soccer fans: video-focused, team-specific and delivered on mobile.
As the most iconic name in sports journalism, Sports Illustrated will now have access to Dugout’s unrivalled library of archive and behind-the-scenes soccer video content. Dugout is co-owned by some of the world’s largest soccer clubs including A.C. Milan, Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, and distributes more than 2,500 brand-safe, professional videos a month with more than 1.84 billion views in 2019 across Dugout.com and its network of more than 85 publishers globally.
“For more than 65 years, Sports Illustrated has delivered best-in-class sports journalism and we are thrilled to partner with such an iconic US publication that is steeped in great history and tradition,” says Elliot Richardson, Co-Founder and Chairman of Dugout. “Our new collaboration means we will work closely to deliver our premium soccer content to their huge online audience. We have seen our monthly video views grow to 400 million so far this year and as we aim to take this towards one billion across all markets, this strategic partnership in one of the most important markets is very complementary as we expand our brand globally.”
Sports Illustrated continues its renaissance under Maven, improving and broadening its content offerings, the consumer experience and coverage of local sports franchises. Year-over-year traffic is up 60%.
“We are thrilled to join forces with Dugout to offer soccer fans across North America compelling and robust video experiences from the biggest Clubs and players in the world,” adds Ross Levinsohn, CEO of Sports Illustrated Media. “We continue to strive to offer consumers and marketers unique, premium content in dynamic ways.”
As world football recovers from the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, soccer’s popularity remains undiminished and its popularity continues to surge in the U.S. and the Americas. Via Dugout’s Embed video player, original, behind-the-scenes and archived content will now be shared with Sports Illustrated extensive audience. Soccer fans will be able to engage with bespoke digital video content from their favorite clubs who compete in many of the world’s leading leagues and competitions, including the UFEA Champions League, English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, Mexican Liga MX and South America’s Copa Libertadores.
The partnership with Sports Illustrated in the US follows Dugout’s new content agreements with Suning’s PP Sports in China and Onefootball across Europe – thereby expanding Dugout’s global market reach and significantly growing its international video viewership figures.
“The majority of our member clubs have significant international fan bases and we know there are a huge number of soccer fans in the U.S. who support clubs based in South America, Europe and further afield,” Richardson says. “Providing these fans with new ways to engage with their clubs is only the first stage of our long-term, multi-phased partnership and we look forward to working alongside Sports Illustrated as this develops.”