This week’s sports industry reading list

Time for the latest sports industry reading list, a hand-picked selection of the best writing on the business of sport from around the world and across the internet. Below, as always, you’ll find pieces from the traditional media, specialist sports websites and the sports industry trade media from the past few days. To business:

The big three stories of the week

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • A few days before Usain Bolt ‘saved’ athletics by beating Justin Gatlin to retain his men’s 100m world title, Lord Sebastian Coe was elected as the IAAF’s next president. As you’ll be aware, his to-do list is lengthy. Christopher Clarey, writing with typical clarity in the New York Times, examined the scale of the challenge facing the Briton as he assumes office.
  • There’s much to like, if you’re that way inclined, on the Motor Sport magazine website and this column from contributor Matt Oxley paints a vivid, and not altogether flattering, picture of how the MotoGP paddock is becoming increasingly divorced from reality – there’s a lesson here for sports properties the world over.
  • And finally, less a must-read than a must-watch. BBC Radio 5 Live sports correspondent Richard Conway recently sat down with the soon-to-stand-down Sepp Blatter for an in-depth interview. And it’s excellent. Say what you like about Blatter – and plenty have – but he makes for compelling viewing.

That’s this week’s sports industry reading list. Any and all feedback can be emailed to davidcushnan@gmail.com, or via Twitter: @davidcushnan

This week’s sports industry reading list

It’s time for another quick-fire round-up of the best writing on matters pertaining to the business of sport – articles, profiles, features or analysis located in all sorts of interesting internet nooks and crannies. To business:

The big three stories of the week

  • By the time you read this, the IAAF will have elected [insert name of illustrious former Olympic champion here] as its new president. And then, for Sergey Bubka or Lord Sebastian Coe, the real work begins, after another dismal week of headlines for athletics.

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • The US Open, where Serena Williams will serve for history, is on the way and there was a very interesting piece this week from tennis writer Ben Rothenberg, published on the Sports Illustrated site, about the business and politics behind one of the pre-New York warm-up tournaments.
  • There have been plenty of pieces on the rise of eSports floating about in recent months, but few as thorough as this, in the Financial Times, by Ben Thompson – it gives a real sense of how professional the ‘sport’ already is and how it might grow even larger in the years ahead.
  • Chicago Tribune Olympic sports writer Philip Hersh muses on Los Angeles and its possible 2024 campaign, but also proposes the United States Olympic Committee adopts a more radical approach to bidding, in this excellent column. There’s also some good guesswork on whether the next five Games to be awarded might be held.
  • It’s but a month until the Rugby World Cup and if, in the UK at least, the sports industry’s view of the event’s commercial importance seems a touch overstated – in my experience a large number of commercial directors, agency men and brand chiefs are big rugby fans (which perhaps in itself an interesting debate about the diversity of the sector) – it is certainly a tournament worth examining. The Telegraph’s Ben Rumsby got the first major interview with Stephen Brown, who was recently parachuted into the managing director role at England 2015.
  • And staying with rugby, over at SportsPro they’ve published an online version of a piece from the last edition of the magazine, focusing on Wasps’ controversial, but seemingly successful, move from (the far outskirts of) London to Coventry. Team relocation is a rare thing in the UK, but Mike Kennedy, who spoke to the Wasps’ hierarchy, tells a fascinating story very well. 

That’s your lot for now – to get in touch either email – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or find me on Twitter, @DavidCushnan. And do come back next week, when there’ll be more must-reads handily selected right here.

This week’s sports industry reading list

The Premier League is back! Action, goals, controversy, goals, action and goals are nigh-on guaranteed over the next ten months or so (and, in case you missed them, this weekend’s scores included 1-0, 0-2, 2-2 and a rather tasty 4-2) but here on this blog it’s strictly business – with just a hint of pleasure. Just below you’ll find, as always, the best writing of the week on subjects that matter to the global sports industry. To business:

The big three stories of the week

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • There was a predictable flurry of one year to go pieces from all the usual sources as Rio 2016 celebrated the milestone-of-sorts last week. The most interesting was this Guardian piece, penned by Jonathan Watts, on the elderly property developer making hay in the host city: http://tinyurl.com/obzv8fm
  • Sports Business Journal’s executive editor Abraham D. Madkour put together this thorough review of the major talking points from the first half of 2015. An American slant, of course, but well worth a read: http://tinyurl.com/pxg8ec6
  • Anything Alan Abrahamson writes is worth reading – his pieces from Kazan and the world swimming championships this week have been top-notch – and this piece on the Olympic sports selection process for Tokyo 2020 and the IOC’s quest to appeal to a younger demographic is no exception: http://tinyurl.com/oku49bf
  • Certain sports dominate the headlines, even from a commercial perspective, but every sport – big, small, developed or emerging – has its own interesting business tale to tell. With that in mind, Sportcal’s Martin Ross explains the finances and organisation behind the World Orienteering Championships, staged last week in Scotland: http://tinyurl.com/okq356t 
  • Major League Baseball Advanced Media stands out alongside McLaren Applied Technologies and Jockey Club Services as a prime example of smart, innovative sports industry thinking. In the week it confirmed a major partnership with the NHL, The Verge’s Ben Popper took an in-depth look at the spin-off business which has become a giant in its own right: http://tinyurl.com/pxcgupl

Something for everyone there, I’m sure. Do come back next week for more and if you feel the need, feel free to drop me a line at davidcushnan@gmail.com or on Twitter: @davidcushnan

This week’s sports industry reading list

It was only a matter of time. Critical acclaim has begun pouring in for this, the weekly(ish) round-up of the best writing on the global business of sport. One sports business luminary, who absolutely insisted on remaining nameless, even described it “as a bit like Pocket for the sports industry”. High praise indeed – and absolutely spot-on. Anyway, forget the flimflam, on with the great writing about the business of sport – the politics, the people, the transactions, the events – from the past few days. To business:

The big three stories of the week

  • The rather underwhelming race to stage the 2022 Winter Olympics ends with Beijing defeating Almaty by a smaller than expected margin. By my reckoning, Beijing will be only the second capital city to host the winter Games (after Oslo) and, as you’ll be aware, in seven years it will become the first city to have staged both the summer and winter Olympics.
  • In what is bound to become an interminable Fifa presidential election campaign, Uefa president Michel Platini confirms the inevitable and declares he will stand.
  • A deal with possibly big implications for the UK sports marketing scene as WPP and Providence Equity Partners buys Chime Communications, owner of JMI, Fast Track and CSM Sport and Entertainment.

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • There was the usual interesting commentary by the usual suspects on the IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur, not least on the decision to award China its second Olympics in 14 years. This piece, by Chelsea Little, was the pick of the bunch: http://tinyurl.com/pzmgwzu
  • Derek Jeter was and remains famously media shy, but since retirement the former New York Yankee has quietly set up The Players’ Tribune, a website where professional athletes call the shots and can talk directly to fans – cutting out pesky journalists in the process. The Hollywood Reporter’s Marisa Guthrie spoke to Jeter and those around him to get a sense of how it’s going: http://tinyurl.com/q2hmytw
  • Staying on the subject of journalism, Swindon Town’s media policy for the new football season – buccaneering use of new technology or short-sighted silliness, depending on your viewpoint – has reached the pages of the New York Times, as Sam Borden considers sports teams as content producers and new attitudes towards traditional media: http://tinyurl.com/ol7vusk
  • Forbes’ Liyan Chen profiled Wang Jianlin, Asia’s richest man, and, through his giant Dalian Wanda group the new owner of Infront Sports & Media – and he’s still investing in all sorts of sectors, including sport: http://tinyurl.com/p5v69hh
  • Policing unofficial streams and online piracy is an issue facing all major sports properties, but in an ever-changing world of new technology it’s a job that becomes more difficult almost by the hour. On the eve of the new Premier League season, the Guardian sent Howard Swains to Scandinavia to find out how straightforward illegal streaming is and meet some of those doing it: http://tinyurl.com/ov8t5bl

That’s your lot, but not before a recommendation to watch Sir Martin Sorrell address the IOC Session on media, digital and the future. It’s a long video, helpfully uploaded to YouTube by the IOC, but well worth your time. You can find it here.

You can reach me at davidcushnan@gmail.com or on Twitter: @davidcushnan.