Sports Illustrated CEO Ross Levinsohn Facilitates a Digital Advancement for the Brand

Ross Levinsohn Sports Illustrated has had boundless appeal among sports enthusiasts over the years. In fact, it has commanded the sports niche in the print media world for seven decades. Despite its noteworthy dominance, however, it has struggled under the weight of a modern-day issue. This same issue has afflicted other similar brands, and some of those brands have used Sports Illustrated’s solution as inspiration. The issue developed as the internet was rising in popularity. The brand’s monetization model was shifting gradually in favor of the website. This was because print subscriptions were declining as website traffic was increasing. Such a situation presented the Sports Illustrated CEO with a predicament that required his full attention.

By the time when Ross Levinsohn moved into the Sports Illustrated CEO spot in 2016, he had amassed 40 years of media and print industry experience. Some of his professional experiences have included time working as CEO or in another top-level position for major enterprises. His previous employers have included Yahoo!, Guggenheim Digital Media, CBS Sportsline, Maven Media, Whisper Advisors and Fox. While he worked at Maven Media, he was directly responsible for managing monetization strategies for several hundred clients’ brands. One client, The Street with Jim Cramer, had concentrated its activities around Wall Street. However, the popularity of cryptocurrencies was increasing, and the brand needed to transition to also include this type of content. As a manager of The Street with Jim Cramer’s monetization efforts, Levinsohn devised an impressive strategy to add that content behind a second paywall. In the process, Levinsohn has enhanced The Street with Jim Cramer’s revenue production capabilities.

When Ross Levinsohn was confronted with his new challenge as Sports Illustrated CEO, he took a similar approach to advance the brand’s digital presence. In this case, however, the challenge was to raise revenue from existing content rather than produce an additional content line. To facilitate this transformation in the brand’s monetization efforts, Levinsohn put together a premium subscription level for early release information and content. Some of the other brands that were trying to cope with a similar situation have since adopted a similar strategy.

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