Thanks for stopping by – or stumbling across – the sports industry reading list, your one-stop, hopefully handy guide to the best, most interesting and most useful recent writing about the global business of sport. As usual, I’ve selected a mix of interviews, profiles and analysis from a variety of sources – newspaper websites, specialist sport outlets and the sports industry trade press. Ready? Set? To business:
This week’s sports industry must-reads
- The Times’ Matthew Syed was granted special access to Team Sky’s preparations for the Tour de France and late last week, on the eve of the Grand Depart, reported back with this really interesting piece on the latest detail improvements the team has planned – a sort of ‘marginal gains 2.0’, if you like.
- The Kevin Plank-Under Armour story has been told plenty of times but this detailed Rachel Monroe piece for Bloomberg Businessweek gives it a new twist, exploring the relationship between the brand and the city of Baltimore. This is a terrific read.
- As the knockout stages began, Jonathan Wilson offered an interesting perspective on the sporting effects of UEFA’s largely commercially-driven decision to expand the format of the European Championships from 16 to 24 teams in the Guardian.
- Sticking with football here’s a thoughtful piece on the growing pains of women’s football in England and a call to action for greater professionalism and commercial savvy by Rich Laverty.
- A snappy piece here featuring Jeannie Buss, the president and co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, as part of Sport Business Journal’s ‘The Sit-Down’ series.
- Looking for an incredibly detailed and data-packed history of sumo? Your luck’s in, thanks to Benjamin Morris from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site.
- The Olympic Games are but a month away. Like many, NBC have been preparing for Rio 2016 for years and this Ad Week interview with Jon Miller, NBC Olympics’ chief marketing officer, is a useful guide to the network’s promotional plans for the next few weeks. A.J. Katz asks the questions.
- SportsPro’s George Dudley, an unashamed fan of this list, sat down for an in-depth interview with British racehorse trainer John Gosden recently. What followed is a fascinating insight into the sport’s challenges and future.
- There’s some typically shrewd analysis here by Keir Radnedge of what might best be described as a ‘troubled’ start to Gianni Infantino’s tenure as president of Fifa and the persistent leaks currently dogging him.
- Kevin Durant’s announcement (made, as is the way in the modern world, via Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune website) that he’s joining the Golden State Warriors has understandably made waves. This interesting Sports Techie analysis of the motives behind the move posits the theory that the draw of Silicon Valley was magnetic.
- Fitting neatly into this list’s occasional ‘not directly sports business-related but perhaps relevant for anyone whose business is sport’ category, here’s a fascinating piece from The Drum on The Pool, an online outlet aimed at professional women. Katie McQuater’s piece is well worth your time, especially if content creation’s your game (which it almost certainly is).
- And a ‘sports industry must-listen’ to round things off. Adam Parsons’ Wake Up to Money programme on BBC Radio 5 Live has spawned a sports business spin-off – and an accompanying podcast. The first edition features, amongst others, British Olympic Association chief executive Bill Sweeney.