In the week when new research revealed British children now prefer to watch stuff online rather on TV, the Economist lifted the lid of behind-the-scenes tensions in the world of opera and someone finally – finally! – did the maths on Disney Princesses, there’s also been a good bit going on in the sports industry. This, as regular readers will be aware, is my selection of the best writing of the week on the global business of sport – so buckle up and let’s get this rodeo underway once again (completely accidentally, this week’s list has something of a US bent). To business.
This week’s sports industry must-reads
- As if you could miss it, the Super Bowl is firmly on the horizon and this won’t be any ordinary Super Bowl. The 50th edition is being celebrated far and wide by the league and Bryan Curtis penned this very interesting essay for ESPN The Magazine’s Super Bowl special looking at exactly how the NFL is using the anniversary as a marketing tool.
- Over at MMQB, Sports Illustrated’s dedicated NFL website, Emily Kaplan went behind the scenes to see how Fox broadcast the NFC Championship game last weekend. I’m a sucker for this type of broadcast piece and this one doesn’t disappoint.
- This piece by the Guardian’s Sam Thielman isn’t really about sport, but it’s well worth reading anyway. Netflix are major media players, expanding quickly and whilst they’ve stated many times that live sport is not currently on their agenda, they’re clearly a company everyone in the industry should be keeping at least one eye on.
- Cycling blog Inrng took this very interesting look at the billionaires currently active in the sport either as team owners or sponsors, and examined their motivations for investment.
- Here’s a deliciously detailed piece on the roof at the new home of the Minnesota Vikings, US Bank Stadium (currently under construction), by Tim Newcomb for the Popular Mechanics website. It’s worth reading for the flypast titbit alone.
- There’ve been a number of articles recently in praise of Australia’s Twenty20 cricket competition, the KFC Big Bash. Here’s the pick of the bunch, by Will MacPherson of ESPN Cricinfo.
- The Australian Open reaches its denouement this weekend and I’d recommend this feature on former player Justin Gimelstob. The American is now a jack of several trades on the tennis circuit which throws up several potential conflicts of interest. It’s a fascinating read by the New York Times’ Karen Crouse.
- It’s fairly well-established that the NBA is a global leader in its approach to digital content and packaging. Dan Carson found an interesting angle in all this, seeking out the human social media managers behind NBA team accounts. The resulting piece, published by Bleacher Report, is really good.
- It’s not long now until the Daytona 500, Nascar’s annual curtain-raiser, and Daytona International Speedway will look a little different this year, as the much-anticipated ‘Daytona Rising’ revamp comes to fruition. Steven Cole-Smith has written a terrific piece on one of the biggest venue refurbishments in sport – and Autoweek have presented it really well on their site.
That’s your lot for this week – something for everyone I hope, assuming the global business of sport is your thing. Feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach me on Twitter: @DavidCushnan. Until next time.