This is the sports industry reading list, your regular guide to the profiles, features, columns, opinions and essays you really ought to be reading if your business is sport, or if you have even a passing interest in how sport is governed, financed and organised. It’s been a busy week, so let’s get cracking right away. To business:
This week’s sports industry must-reads
- A key milestone this week in the long trek towards the 2024 summer Olympic Games host city announcement, as the four contenders delivered part one of their candidature files to IOC headquarters in Switzerland. Los Angeles became the third of the four to launch its official bid logo, Paris and Rome held big bid launch events, while Budapest has so far opted for a more low-key approach. The candidature files themselves – Los Angeles 2024, Budapest 2024, Paris 2024, Rome 2024 – are always worth a look and are always full of interesting detail. (How much of that detail is actually read by voting IOC members is, of course, another story entirely).
- Fifa votes in its new president next week, so you’ll be reading plenty about the contenders, their merits and their baggage over the next few days. My pick of the many Fifa-related pieces from this week, however, is this beautifully presented and superbly researched ESPN story on the FBI investigation into the organisation, put together by Shaun Assael and Brett Forrest.
- ESPN published another superb long read this week, as Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham told the story of the NFL’s decision to relocate the Rams, formerly of St. Louis, to Los Angeles. It’s a great read, one of those that ‘puts you in the room’ as the NFL owners negotiated and argued their way to a deal.
- Through bold acquisitions and a striking series of investments in teams, players and properties, China has been making plenty of noise across the sports industry in recent times. Professor Simon Chadwick, now of Salford University’s Sports Business Centre, knitted together some of the big issues for this highly- readable primer in Newsweek.
- Sticking with football, this is a very good, punchy piece from late last week by Simon Hughes of the Independent on the Liverpool FC ticket pricing mess, the club’s reaction and the role of chief executive Ian Ayre.
- Everything you wanted to know about American Pharoah’s sex life – and probably a whole lot more – is in this very detailed Bloomberg piece by Monte Reel.
- Sportcal’s Martin Ross picked up on something interesting this week, when Scottish football fans, denied live TV coverage of Scottish Cup replays thanks to Uefa rights restrictions, turned to Periscope. His write-up is well worth a read.
- Formula One is slowly rolling back into life after the long, dark winter but even before the 2016 season begins the sport’s focus seems to be on 2017, when a major revision of the rules is scheduled. Motorsport.com editor-in-chief Charles Bradley picked up on some recent comments by Sebastian Vettel and wrote this, pondering Formula One’s future.
- Podcasts are very much in fashion inside and outside sport, as Tom Rubashow of PR firm Pitch pointed out this week, and the latest edition of the SportsPro podcast is a veritable feast for the ears. You’ll find it here.