the Sports Illustrated The brand has already been licensed for many dubiously attractive businesses.
Who could forget the launch of JC Penney clothing? The summer line is now available!
SI still has a lot of people doing great work, to be clear. But the way their parent companies throw the name out for licensing at every possible opportunity is incredibly loose. The most recent example appears to be the most likely to fail yet: Sports Illustrated’s hotels and resorts.
It’s not just, say, a themed hotel or a pop-up boutique, like the Taco Bell business in Palm Springs. These would be fully realized permanent resorts, all built with a vague sporty vibe and splashed with the SI branding.
This is from a press release from Storyland Studios:
Acclaimed international experience design and production studio Storyland Studios has been selected to plan and engineer the latest addition to the world of immersive experiences: Sports Illustrated Hotels and Resorts, which is set to begin rolling out globally in 2023.
These new destinations will offer a variety of attractive and entertaining attractions for visitors and sports enthusiasts of all ages. The Storyland team, comprised of experience design experts and themed attraction industry veterans, will bring their three-dimensional approach to storytelling to the project.
“Storyland is excited to begin the design and master planning processes for the Sports Illustrated global family of resorts,” said Ben Thompson, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Clients at Storyland Studios. “Our incredibly talented and diverse team of artists and artisans is well equipped to deliver unforgettable experiences for guests of all ages and backgrounds.”
As always, the question must be asked: who are they intended for? Even on the scale of cheesy resort stays, is there real demand for a place you can go that might have a go-kart track? And these are very, very real design concepts! One is coming to the Dominican Republic! There’s also one planned for Orlando, which isn’t at all surprising.
The Sports Illustrated resort’s first location is expected to be in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, with an expected unveiling date of 2023. The Orlando resort will follow. Other possible locations in the United States and Hawaii are under consideration.
Here’s the only way it could make sense: families where one partner is more excited about traveling than the other, but the one who isn’t excited enjoys sports. “See, we can stay here! There is sports! There’s also the element of simply being an open resort in a popular destination. Inventory is key; people will always need housing.
But it remains absolutely silly that there are likely to be large, massive resorts with Sports Illustrated branding and attractions. Hopefully no one gets hurt on the Life of Reilly Log Ride.