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.

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