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The Arena Group (OTC: MVEN) and Sports Illustrated announced today the appointment of Joy Russo as SI’s Executive Editor, Content Strategy. Russo joins SI from ESPN, where she was Senior Deputy Editor, holding several senior editorial seats across a 21-year tenure. Russo will manage the day-to-day digital strategic operations for Sports Illustrated, inclusive of subscriptions and newsletters; she will also play a key role in expanding women's sports coverage. Russo will report to SI Co-Editors-in-Chief, Ryan Hunt and Stephen Cannella.

Joy Russo has more than two decades of diverse editorial experience, from developing and delivering news to special programming and event coverage for the Olympics, NCAA, NHL, NASCAR and other global events. Russo is a creative storyteller with a vision and talent to create compelling and authentic content for both traditional and online platforms.

Russo’s hiring comes as SI continues to broaden its audiences and demographics, reaching 52.9 million unique visitors in September according to Comscore (referenced as Sports Illustrated Media Group) and growing female audiences by 42% this year alone. is operated by The Arena Group, a tech-powered media company that rolled out a robust publisher acquisition and partnership strategy and grew its sports media vertical 293% in unique visitors year over year.

“I could not be more thrilled to join Sports Illustrated, whose writers and editors continue to build upon the brand’s long-established commitment to quality storytelling and reporting. Growing Sports Illustrated’s coverage of women’s sports will be one of a handful of critical avenues in growing our overall audience, and getting to do that with Ryan Hunt, Stephen Cannella, and the entire SI staff only increases our path to success,” said Russo.

Sports Illustrated and The Arena Group expanded their talent rosters with two additional valued team members:

  • Alan Springer, Vice President, Head of Video -- Alan joins The Arena Group to oversee all video strategy and video programming, inclusive of SI. He brings 15 years of experience at Yahoo! Sports as an Executive Producer.
  • Matt Wong, Managing Editor of NBA -- Matt was the Deputy Editor of The Undefeated and NBA Editor with ESPN for 13 years. He will oversee NBA content creation on print and digital platforms and lead SI's top-flight team of pro hoops journalists, including Howard Beck, Chris Herring, Chris Mannix and more.

"Joy’s arrival isn’t just a win for Sports Illustrated, but for our readers, as well. She is a creative, visionary leader who shares the same passion for the type of work for which SI has long been known, and she’ll help us continue to raise that bar on all platforms,” said Ryan Hunt, co-editor in chief of Sports Illustrated.

For SI or The Arena Group media inquiries, contact

About Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated (SI) is an unparalleled and influential leader recognized for shaping modern culture and uniting athletes, teams and fans worldwide. SI’s award-winning media enterprise brings powerful storytelling to life across platforms ranging from Emmy-winning video to the monthly print magazine with a 67-year heritage. Get in-depth features, probing profiles, and iconic and beloved photography from the best writers and photojournalists in the game at In July, the American Society of Magazine Editors announced that SI won Best Sports and Fitness Cover in their 2021 contest with “Empty Arena.”

About The Arena Group

The Arena Group, formerly Maven, creates dynamic, digital destinations that delight consumers with stories and news about the things they love – their favorite sports teams, the inside scoop on personal finance, and the latest on lifestyle essentials. The company's robust media ecosystem brings together consumers, publishers and advertisers while harnessing the authority of trusted brands and the editorial prowess of leading writers and editors. For more on best-in-class capabilities in direct sales and programmatic advertising, data, SEO, social, and operations, visit

Media Contact: Rachael Fink

Communications Manager