Welcome to the sports industry reading list, a hopefully handy guide to the best in recent writing on the global business of sport. As always, contributions come from a combination of newspaper and magazine websites, specialist sport sites and marketing, media and sports trade publications. Quick, Euro 2016’s about to start – so let’s get moving. To business:
This week’s sports industry must-reads
- I’m absolutely not qualified to tell you anything you don’t already know about the late Muhammad Ali. I’m too young to have seen him fight, but just about old enough to have some sort of appreciation of his immense contribution to sport, pop culture and society – and to the business of sport. I was in the same room as him once, at a Beyond Sport event just before the London Olympics in 2012, although of course he was by then but a shadow of his former self, Parkinson’s sadly taking hold. You’ll doubtless have read many tributes, obituaries and reflections on Ali in recent days (the internet is understandably full of them) but these pieces – one by the Telegraph’s Paul Hayward and this by the late Frank Keating in the Guardian – jumped out at me on Saturday morning. Do also have a read of my dad’s Ali reflections over on his blog.
- Euro 2016 has arrived and of course there’s plenty to read on all aspects of the tournament, sporting and otherwise. This city-by-city guide to France and French football culture by Simon Kuper in the Financial Times is essential, though, as is this beautifully presented BBC piece on the Stade de France, a scene of triumph and tragedy, and how France’s national football team has found itself intertwined with the country’s wider societal issues since 1998. It’s written by James Gheerbrant. There’s also a good piece here on the understandable security measures in place for the tournament by SportsPro’s George Dudley.
- A really interesting piece by Julia Greenberg published last week by Wired here on the NBA’s foray into China and the lessons some of America’s other international brands can learn.
- A thoughtful viewpoint as ever from Sportcal’s Callum Murray is next, this time on who from world sport takes responsibility for anti-doping in the light of Maria Sharapova’s two-year ban from tennis.
- As intriguing for the fact it was published on the official Formula One website as for the content itself, Sir Martin Sorrell’s interview on the present and future of the sport makes is well worth a look. As is James Allen’s shrewd analysis of what it all might be pointing towards.
- Back to football and here’s a really good, if inevitably dispiriting, appraisal of the first 100 days of Gianni Infantino’s Fifa presidency by James Corbett for the excellent Sporting Intelligence website.
- Since its launch a few years back Jay-Z’s Roc Nation sports talent agency has always been shrouded in a certain mystique. The Washington Post’s Rick Maese was granted some good access and examined how it works and exactly what role Jay-Z plays in the burgeoning operation.