The internet has been a major benefit to media brands, but it has also created a considerable challenge for brands that have been predominantly print-based. For example, at Sports Illustrated, the brand created a monetized online presence to take advantage of the internet’s money-making potential. However, as consumers turned to the website for their sports content, the brand experienced a drop in subscriptions and related revenue. Because of the structure of the brand’s monetization strategy, a dramatic change needed to be made to address this shift in income. Ross Levinsohn, who has been the Sports Illustrated CEO since 2016, assumed control of the situation.
By the time Ross Levinsohn became the Sports Illustrated CEO, he had spent more than 40 years working his way up the career ladder in the media world. His professional endeavors have taken him to CEO and related positions at companies like Whisper Advisors, CBS Sportsline, Guggenheim Digital Media, Fox and Maven Media. As the top leader at Maven Media, Levinsohn was in the position to manage income generation activities for hundreds of clients. One of these clients was The Street with Jim Cramer, which needed to expand its content offerings to include cryptocurrencies. Levinsohn strategized to make this expansion while also expanding the brand’s revenue. This was done through Levinsohn’s establishment of a specialized pay structure.
When Levinsohn was given the reins as Sports Illustrated CEO, he decided to maneuver the monetization strategy for the website to accommodate a premium subscription. Rather than having to create more content to elevate digital revenue, Sports Illustrated was able to position its offerings as early release content to elevate revenue. Levinsohn’s strategic maneuver has had such exceptional results that other print-based brands have followed suit.