Welcome along to the latest edition of my sports industry reading list – a hand-picked and typed selection of interesting features, profiles, columns and points of view on all matters pertaining to the global business of sport. It’s been a while, and nobody has any time to waste, so let’s get cracking.
This week’s sports industry must-reads
- The people of Hamburg (and Kiel, which would have hosted the sailing) voted against the city’s proposed bid to stage the 2024 Olympic Games on Sunday night, a move that surprised local officials and comes as something of the proverbial hammer-blow to the International Olympic Committee. The IOC had hoped a field of five competitive bidders for 2024 would lay to rest concerns about the cost and legacy of an Olympics, following the multiple withdrawals from the 2022 winter Games bidding process and Boston’s ill-fated bid for 2024. Alas, the field is now down to four, raising all sorts of fresh questions about the process, PR and finances of staging the world’s largest sporting event. Two terrific pieces of analysis followed the Hamburg decision, from keen Olympic observers Alan Abrahamson and Inside the Games’ Nick Butler.
- Sticking with the Olympics, you should read this valedictory piece from last week by veteran journalist Philip Hersh as he departs the Chicago Tribune after 15 Olympic Games and 31 years.
- You might have heard that Great Britain won the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936. at the weekend. You might also have heard Andy Murray and team coach Leon Smith’s comments on Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), the national tennis governing body – essentially the prevailing feeling is Britain’s victory was in spite of the LTA, rather than because of it. That prompted this interesting LinkedIn post by writer and tennis coach Dan Travis about what should happen next as British tennis searches for the right balance between participation and performance.
- How global sport is governed is one of the stories of the year – from Fifa to the IAAF, with all sorts of other, less publicised cases, in between, it has not been a good year for sports administrators. In the New York Times, Christopher Clarey has done his usual sterling job of summing up where sport stands at the end of what might best be described as its annus horribilis.
- In the week when Chelsea announced initial plans to build a new stadium where Stamford Bridge currently sits, I thought this was a well-written, interesting and at times quite poignant piece on progress and how English football stadiums have changed and are changing – 36 of the 92 English league clubs have moved grounds in the past 20 years. It’s essentially a piece on progress, for better or for worse, by the Guardian’s Daniel Taylor.
- The Formula One season ended with something of a whimper on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, with the titles long since decided and, as usual, plenty of politics playing out in the paddock. It’s been that sort of season. The dominance of the car manufacturers, thanks to a combination of their financial might and a rules package which has made engine performance more important than ever, is currently the subject of much discussion – customer teams are increasingly under the cash cosh, while Red Bull’s struggle to secure a power unit for 2016 has been documented exhaustively. Frankly, you should be reading Joe Saward’s terrific Formula One blog already, but if you’re not here’s his latest authoritative dispatch, explaining what was happening behind the scenes in Abu Dhabi as the sport heads into hibernation.
That’s your lot for now. Hope you found something to tickle your fancy – and if you did, please do share the blog with industry colleagues and friends, or let me know via @DavidCushnan on Twitter, or by email.