It’s time for my latest pick of the best writing on the global business of sport – the profiles, features, columns and interviews that have caught my eye over the past few days. Welcome along – and don’t forget to share widely with your friends and colleagues; there’s something for everyone here (assuming, of course, you’re interested in what’s happening across the global sports industry). To business, then, and this week’s bumper selection of great sports business pieces:
This week’s sports industry must-reads
- There’s been a great deal of talk recently of the growing power of Europe’s major football clubs amid the current power vacuum at Fifa and Uefa. Oliver Kay picked up the topic for his always-readable Saturday Times column this week; it’s a strong piece (nestled behind the paywall) on the slightly chilling prospect of a future European league closed to all but the elite teams.
- Renowned US team owner Roger Penske is celebrating his 50th year in motorsport and Automobile Magazine produced this terrific retrospective on the career of a hugely successful businessman, who’s also won just about all there is to win in Indycar and Nascar.
- You might have already heard, but the Super Bowl’s on Sunday. And that means millions of words on the game itself and the carnival that has grown up around it. San Francisco is this year’s host and SportsPro digital maestro Michael Long spoke to the host committee for this excellent overview of what staging the big game can mean for a city.
- Sticking with Super Bowl 50, Wired’s April Glaser looked at the massive security and surveillance operation around this weekend’s game. An unsettling new reality or simply the way things have to be at any major gathering in 2016?
- Back on this side of the Atlantic, a couple of football (soccer) pieces of note: the excellent Swiss Ramble has read and dissected the recent Deloitte Football Money League report so you don’t have to.
- And here’s a very handy, if slightly dispiriting, guide to the manifestos of the five men vying to lead Fifa, ahead of the presidential election later this month, put together by Bonita Mersiades for the Sporting Intelligence website.
- This is a really excellent Sheffield Star interview, conducted by Sam Fletcher, with World Snooker’s commercial director Miles Pearce on the sport’s rise in China and the possibility of the World Championships one day relocated from its current home at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.
- Here’s the most comprehensive piece on NBA player shoe deals you’ll ever read. It’s actually far more interesting than I’ve made it sound – a really good piece, written by The Vertical’s Nick DePaula and published by Yahoo Sports.
- ESPN’s Outside The Lines series has gone in-depth on gambling, and in particular on the US major leagues’ rather complicated relationships with fantasy gaming and betting operators. It’s a long read by Steve Fainaru, Paula Lavigne and David Purdum but well worth getting stuck into.
- In the aftermath of Adidas’ decision to terminate its major sponsorship of the beleaguered IAAF, a punchy and superb column on Nike and its investment and influence in athletics by the Mail on Sunday’s Oliver Holt.
- Reem Abulleil, covering the Australian Open for the UAE-based Sport360 newspaper, spoke to the tournament director Craig Tilley to get the lowdown on the commercial success of the first Grand Slam of the tennis year and an insight into Tennis Australia’s marketing strategy.
That’ll do it for this week. Do let me know if the reading lists are proving useful/interesting/a handy distraction, either via firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, where you’ll find me @DavidCushnan. Let’s reconvene here in a few days time.