It’s Sports Illustrated’s first-ever fashion collection. JCPenney, Sports Illustrated, Valiant Pictures


Sports Illustrated has dropped its first line of branded apparel with department store chain JCPenney. It’s part of a reinvention of the 65-year-old brand that also includes NFTs, ticketing and sports betting.

Top line

The clothing drop includes lines for men, women and children, such as tracksuits, T-shirts, shorts, skirts and outerwear.

Michelle Wlazlo, evp and chief merchandising officer at JCPenney, said the activewear collection, Sports Illustrated for JCPenney, was “inspired by iconic moments in sports.” The styles are available online and in 300 U.S. JCPenney stores.

Between the lines

“Sports Illustrated is committed to reaching consumers in new and unique ways,” said Dana Carpenter, evp of entertainment at Authentic Brands Group, which bought Sports Illustrated in 2019. While this is its first fashion and lifestyle collection, the brand launched a swimwear collection in 2018.

Sports Illustrated is hardly the only media company looking to retail partnerships to bolster its bottom line.

YouTube channel First We Feast, for example, has partnered with Walmart to sell frozen food kits, while digital media company Barstool Sports inked a deal with America’s largest retailer to sell frozen pizza. BuzzFeed’s culinary arm, Tasty, has created meal kits with brands like Hamburger Helper. And Hearst’s Cosmopolitan is selling a branded line of furniture and housewares in partnership with Wayfair.

Bottom line

This all comes at a time as retailers themselves are acting more like media companies as they, too, seek additional sources of revenue.


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