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:
  • 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:
  • 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:
  • 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:
  • 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:

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 or on Twitter: @davidcushnan.


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