And we’re back. Call it a sabbatical, call it a hiatus, call it a didn’t-quite-get-round-to-it – frankly, call it whatever you want. The key thing to note is that this is the sports industry reading list, your sometimes-weekly guide to interesting, fascinating, informative and entertaining profiles, interviews, articles, features and opinions on the global business of sport. For readers joining us at the start of what we’ll generously call ‘season two’, you’ll tend to find a mix of pieces from mainstream media, specialist trade publications and some sport-specific outlets. Right, let’s get (re)started. To business:
This week’s sports industry reading list
- If you haven’t already, you should definitely read SportsPro grand fromage Eoin Connolly’s superb feature after time spent behind the scenes with Sky Sports to coincide with the broadcaster’s 25th anniversary.
- Sticking with sports broadcasting, whether baseball is your sport or not this profile of Los Angeles legend Vin Scully – in his 67th and final year of his commentating career – is well worth your time. It’s by Tom Verducci and by dint of the remarkable length of Scully’s tenure it’s effectively a fascinating anecdotal history of sports broadcasting.
- In the week when Jose Mourinho is poised to take up the reins at Old Trafford, this is a razor-sharp analysis, by the Irish Times’ Ken Early, of why he makes perfect sense for a club – and company – at this stage in its history. This might just be the best piece of sports business analysis you’ll read this year.
- China’s investment in sports teams, agencies and events is growing by the week – Aston Villa and MP & Silva have been added to the portfolio in the last few days – but this Reuters piece, by Brenda Goh, approaches the country’s sporting strategy from the other extreme, examining how its athlete development and grassroots plans are evolving.
- GQ’s Marc Anthony Green met Maverick Carter, agent, manager and friend of LeBron James, earlier this month. This entertaining Q and A is the result.
- Here’s a good piece by John Branch of the New York Times on the effort and energy the Golden State Warriors put into the show and the fan experience every time Steph Curry and co play a home game at Oracle Arena.
- Difficult days for the International Olympic Committee, these, as Rio 2016, with all its challenges, looms, the doping crisis playing out in front of the world and increasingly murky questions around Tokyo 2020’s winning bid for its Games. This, from the Guardian’s Owen Gibson, is a must-read on the latter.
- The sports industry is obsessed with eSports and seemingly captivated by its commercial potential. Rob Fahey, writing on the Gamesindustry.biz website, presents something of a reality check, with this fascinating piece on the substantial growing pains being experienced by the eSports community.
Until next time.