In the first of what may or may not become a regular series, here’s my selection of the most interesting and pertinent sports industry-related pieces from the last few days – a non-exhaustive combination of profiles, interviews, perspectives and analysis from a combination of the mainstream press, sports industry trade titles, sport-specific publications and good old-fashioned blogs. First things first: the big three sports industry stories (as I see them, at least) of the week.
The big three stories of the week
- Off and running: Mary Wittenberg leaves New York Road Runners, the organiser of the New York Marathon, to join Richard Branson’s new mass participation start-up Virgin Sport.
- China, China, China: more large-scale investment in Chinese sport; a major broadcast deal for Major League Soccer in the country; and in a groundbreaking move the Pac-12 conference has announced two regular season basketball games will be played in China over the next two years, with the support of no less than Alibaba Group.
- Smoke and mirrors: Tobacco giant Philip Morris is revealed to have agreed, on the quiet, to continue as a partner of the Ferrari Formula One team for three more years.
This week’s sports industry must reads
- My old SportsPro colleague Michael Long went to Istanbul recently and came back with this terrific examination of 15 years of commercial growth for Euroleague basketball: http://tinyurl.com/qxevhd9
- The Guardian took a look at Premier League champions Chelsea in Japan, ahead of a possible post-season tour and the start of its shirt sponsorship deal with Yokohama: http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2015/may/12/chelsea-japan-yokohama-rubber-yoshinori-mut
- There’s been plenty on Periscope recently, especially on the potential rights issues its use raises. This, though, from the Associated Press is a fun look at how one rights-holder, the Volvo Ocean Race, intends to use the platform to broadcast live from the high seas: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/periscope-goes-back-to-the-sea-in-around-the-world-race/2015/05/13/e3b10e74-f9b2-11e4-a47c-e56f4db884ed_story.html
- On his blog, James Allen has an excellent commentary on the continuing rumours linking Audi to a potential takeover of Red Bull Racing, as the energy drink’s co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz ponders (we think) his Formula One options: http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2015/05/analysis-how-red-bull-moves-towards-f1-end-game-with-audi/
- Bill Simmons’ departure from ESPN has spawned a host of articles and conjecture. Here’s Vanity Fair’s take on the end of the affair, by James Andrew Miller: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/05/what-doomed-bill-simmons-at-espn
Not strictly sport industry-related but interesting nonetheless:
- A 13-year old on how teens really use social media: https://medium.com/@Go_Soroush/a-13-year-old-s-view-on-social-media-219759f63ff6
- New York Times editor Dean Baquet reflects on a year at the helm: http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/05/13/one-year-later-11-questions-for-dean-baquet/
- As Britain’s MPs prepare to return to parliament, a brilliant long read from the Guardian on the inner workings of Westminster: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/14/insiders-guide-westminster-portcullis-house-burma-road
- A brilliantly written (and beautifully presented) pilot-eye view of a London to Tokyo flight, on the New York Times website: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/05/14/opinion/14-in-flight-mark-vanhoenacker.html?_r=0
Happy reading, sports industry – follow me on Twitter if you like, @DavidCushnan