This week’s sports industry reading list

This is the sports industry reading list, your weekly (or thereabouts) guide to what you ought to be reading if your business is sport or you’re simply interested in how sport is organised, funded and governed around the world. As always, there’ll be a mix of profiles, features, interviews, opinion pieces and the occasional audio treat from a wide range of sources including newspapers, specialist websites, sports industry trade publications and social platforms like LinkedIn and Medium. Sounds good, right? That’s the intro. Now, to business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • Sport, ultimately, is an events business and that’s underlined brilliantly in this extended, superbly illustrated multimedia feature on the official Juventus club website. This guide to the scale and complexity of a regular matchday at Juventus Stadium is packed full of interesting nuggets and well worth your time; it’s exactly what major sports teams should be doing more of.
  • A useful and timely piece here from Daniel Johnson of the Daily Telegraph on the most powerful man in Formula One, Donald Mackenzie, as his CVC Capital Partners celebrates (and I’m not sure that’s the right word at all) ten years of ownership.
  • Sticking with Formula One, if you have a spare hour or so you could do worse than listening to this podcast, hosted by Motor Sport magazine’s Ed Foster, featuring Ross Brawn and Nick Fry reflecting on the remarkable 2009 season, which culminated with Jenson Button crowned as world champion. Fry and Brawn were part of the management buy-out of the Honda team and this is a great insight into how Brawn GP came to be.
  • It’s been a terribly sad few days for the world of professional cycling. Following the death of Antoine Demoitié, who was hit by a motorcycle covering the Gent-Wevelgem race on Saturday, this commentary, by Neal Rogers of Cycling Tips, is a personal reflection on events and an examination of what the implications might be for the sport and how it is broadcast.
  • Staying on the West Coast, here’s something worth reading on the NFL’s team that’s preparing to land there. Regular readers will know that I love a logistics piece: here’s MMQB’s Robert Klemko with the fascinating tale of how the Rams are actually relocating and preparing for a nomadic few seasons as they wait for Stan Kroenke’s gleaming new stadium to be built.
  • There’s no doubt that Dick Pound is currently one of world sport’s most influential figures, given his role as chairman of the independent WADA commission which revealed the extent of Russian doping in athletics and the failures of the sport’s governing body. Here’s a typically excellent profile of the Canadian, by the New York Times’ Christopher Clarey.
  • With Major League Baseball’s opening day approaching, there’s been a fair few pieces in recent days chronicling the disputes between regional sports networks and cable operators, and the creaking broadcast model behind them. Joe Flint and Matthew Futterman, writing in the Wall Street Journal, examined the battleground featuring the New York Yankees, the YES network which airs its games and Comcast, which has blacked them out in a payment dispute since November.

That’s your lot for this week. As ever, you can reach me at davidcushnan@gmail.com or on Twitter: @DavidCushnan. Be assured, though: you will not find me on Snapchat.

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This week’s sports industry reading list

Another busy sports industry week concludes, so it’s high time I picked out some of the best and most interesting writing on the sports business from the past few days – after all, that’s what you’re here for. But first, a word on SportsPro Live, the third edition of which took place at Wembley Stadium in London this week. I’m more than a little biased, of course, but I thought it was a terrific event, the best yet, and in an industry full to the brim with conferences it has set a standard in terms of tone and content. (I agree with much of this post by Johnny Murch of RedTorch, who was also at Wembley). I also know just how bloody difficult it is to organise a sports industry conference, so full marks to the whole SportsPro team for a job superbly done. (Incidentally, you can relive the whole thing here). Now, to business.

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • Oh Formula One. An entertaining first Grand  Prix of the season last weekend was somewhat overshadowed by the dismal failure of the new elimination qualifying format, which shone a light on the sport’s tortuous political and governance structure and prompted the drivers to publish an open letter calling for change. Two standout pieces followed: Motorsport.com’s Jonathan Noble produced this typically incisive analysis of the sport’s current political landscape and Joe Saward published this superb piece on his blog.
  • With Beijing now confirmed as host of the 2022 winter Olympics, the Ski Asia website published this interesting piece, examining Thaiwoo Ski Resort in China, one of a huge number of  facilities springing up to meet the (apparent) demand for winter sports in the country.

That’s all for this week. As always, I’m contactable at davidcushnan@gmail.com and on Twitter: @DavidCushnan. Happy Easter.

 

This week’s sports industry reading (and listening) list

Time for another list detailing what’s worth reading about the global business of sport (in my opinion, at least). This is the place for the best, most relevant most interesting profiles, columns, think-pieces, long form features and interviews relating to the sports industry – and this week it features a few audio sportsbiz treats as well. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • I tend to dip in and out of the Players Tribune, the site where athletes can bypass traditional media to tell their stories and make their voices heard authentically, but my eye was caught by this piece, penned by pro basketball player Sue Bird – a compelling read on the lack of data and analytics in women’s sport, and why that might be stifling its growth.
  • It was rather overshadowed by England’s Six Nations victory over Wales, but Premiership Rugby staged its first competitive match in the United States last week, as New York’s Red Bull Arena hosted London Irish against Saracens. Mail Online writer Rory Keane was there and sent back this diary of a historic week.
  • It’s March Madness, America’s college basketball tournament, and SportsPro’s Michael Long put together this excellent feature, written from a European standpoint, on the business behind the bracket.

This week’s sports industry must-listens

I understand completely. You’re busy, you’re on the move – the business of sport never stops and neither do you. You don’t always have time to read, but you’re still thirsty for sports industry information, intelligence and insight. You need podcasts, plural. You’re welcome.

That’s this week’s reading list. Do return for more next week. In the meantime, feel free to email: davidcushnan@gmail.com or tweet: @davidcushnan

This week’s sports industry reading list

Welcome to this week’s sports industry reading list – brought to you by [INSERT FUTURE SPONSOR’S NAME HERE]. This, as you will doubtless know by now, is where you’ll find my pick of the most interesting, revealing and downright good writing on the global business of sport from the past few days – sponsorship matters, political analysis, marketing musings and more. Without further ado, to business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • The world’s most marketable and arguably most famous female athlete admitted failing a drugs test this week and millions of words, thousands of opinions and a reasonable amount of nonsense inevitably followed. If you’re reading this, there’s a fair chance you’ve read plenty on the subject already, but if you’re in the mood for more I’d recommend this opinion piece by the Daily Telegraph’s Paul Hayward and this by Nigel Dudley, which brilliantly deconstructs that remarkable press conference last Monday.
  • The Russian doping scandal rumbles on with the IAAF, world athletics’ governing body, not yet ready to lift the ban on Russian athletes, which continues to leave their participation at August’s Olympic Games in doubt. Essential background reading on the topic here by Inside the Games’ Duncan Mackay, who smacks the nail right on the temple with this piece on the high politics likely to be at play in the decisions to be made over the next few months.

That’s this week’s short but sweet list. Back here, same place, roughly similar time next week for more recommendations. In the meantime, you can email me at davidcushnan@gmail.com or find me on Twitter @DavidCushnan.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Welcome to the sports industry reading list, a handpicked selection of the most relevant and interesting pieces on the global business of sport. As always I’ve scoured the internet for the best profiles, opinion pieces, features and expert analysis and here, with not as much as a drum-roll to manufacture some tension, are the results.

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • The votes have long since been cast, counted, verified and maybe even destroyed, and Gianni Infantino is Fifa’s new president. With the dust now settled on the Fifa Congress, Keir Radnedge produced this excellent analysis of how Infantino’s victory came to pass.
  • It’s two weeks until the lights go out in Melbourne for the start of the 2016 Formula One world championship. The new cars have been launched and tested, and it appears I’m not alone in being a little disappointed that many of them have been painted in very similar colours. Over on his website, James Allen sought out the opinion of a professional designer. Note: this piece contains some forthright views and is all the better for it.
  • It’s ten years since the winter Olympics took place in Turin. Over on the official Olympic website, I thought this was an interesting piece on the legacy of the Games. It’s written with something of an agenda (Agenda 2020, to be precise), of course, but nonetheless it’s a useful retrospective on an Olympic city ten years after the circus has left town.

That’s that – apart from a quick happy anniversary to Mike Laflin and the team at Sportcal, celebrating 25 years covering the business of sport this week – but do return for another list of sports industry must-reads next week.

In the meantime, feel free to drop me an email or, for more public feedback, seek me out on Twitter.