Immediately post-Olympics is one of those moments when the business of sport temporarily becomes a topic of mainstream interest and coverage: How much is this gold medalist now worth? Just how big (or otherwise) were those TV ratings? How much did the Games really cost Rio? And how much money does the silly swimmer from America actually stand to lose? The results are not always pretty (or accurate). Fear not, though, sports industry expert, because this blog has attempted over the last couple of weeks to be even more selective than usual over in choosing only pieces of the highest quality. So here goes: as usual, what you’ll see below is a mix of work published by newspapers, online publishers, the sports business trade press and specialist sports outlets. To business:
This week’s sports industry must-reads
- Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN has written perhaps the definitive piece on the rise and (partial) fall of daily fantasy sports giants FanDuel and DraftKings. It’s a fascinating examination of how the two companies ballooned and how they’ve reacted to the inevitable regulatory and legal challenges that followed.
- On the hunt for a piece looking at the growing links between the hip-hop world and Paul Pogba – and how exactly Adidas fits in? Course you are and, handily, Soccerbible’s Jamie Millar put together this extremely interesting piece. (Full disclosure, it does feature some input from a colleague of mine – but don’t let that put you off.)
- Sticking with sport and music, Synergy supremo Tim Crow’s always-interesting blog recently examined what each might be able to learn from the other when it comes to fan engagement and brand integration. This is a cut above your average sponsorship theory piece.
- A couple of Olympic-related pieces, starting with a really excellent column by Inside the Games’ David Owen on the future of UK Sport’s funding model for elite sport in the aftermath of Great Britain’s most successful ‘away Games’ ever.
- After a troubled build-up, BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter penned this review of the sport’s Olympic return.
- Rory Smith, newly-ensconced as the New York Times’ chief soccer correspondent, wrote this terrific piece on the controversial rise of the Red Bull-owned team that’s come to be known as RB Leipzig as it made its Bundesliga debut last weekend.
- Profiles of ESPN captain John Skipper are not uncommon but they’re mostly well worth reading, particularly at a time when the self-styled ‘Worldwide Leader in Sports’ is grappling with the big challenges of media fragmentation and changing consumption habits. This, by Rick Maese of the Washington Post, paints a fascinating picture of one of sport’s most powerful executives.
- A provocative piece on stadium naming rights by Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky.
- In the age where great storytelling and good content, distributed effectively, are seen as the keys to unlocking greater value for rights holders and brands across sport, I thought this was a particularly interesting and relevant piece – Joseph Lichterman, writing for Nieman Lab, looks at the strategy being employed by one Mexican sports media outlet.