Welcome to the latest edition of the sports industry reading list, my regular handpicked selection of the most interesting, relevant writing on the global business of sport. As usual, the list includes profiles, interviews, features and analysis from a range of online publishers – newspapers, magazines, specialist sport sites, the sports industry trade media and blogs. Those are, loosely speaking, the rules so let’s get started. To business:
This week’s sports industry must-reads
- The NFL regular season begins on Thursday and it’s a decade since Roger Goodell was appointed commissioner. His tenure has not been without significant controversy but he has also presided over a period of sustained growth for the league. The Associated Press has put together these two excellent summaries – here’s Barry Wilner on Goodell’s reign to date and the future challenges he faces.
- We’re fast-approaching conference season in the UK sports industry and connectivity, linked to enhancing the fan experience, will again inevitably be a central theme. On the eve of the new NFL season TechRepublic’s Teena Maddox delivered this fascinating long read – including plenty of interesting facts and figures – on how the league’s stadiums are being prepared for the online age.
- eSports will also be high on the agenda at a number of conferences over the next few weeks – the sports industry seems utterly beguiled – and Leaders, now under the editorial command of James Emmett, has produced a refreshing take on a sport – sport? – growing in prominence but not without sizeable challenges.
- The Paralympic Games begin on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro and Jacob Steinberg has written a superb scene-setter for the Guardian, with the background on the troubled build-up and the hope that, ultimately, it’ll be the sport that makes the headlines.
- Tumultuous times in Formula One, with speculation swirling around the Monza paddock (and then, some time later, the internet) that a buyout of the sport is imminent. At times like these, Joe Saward’s post-race notebook, over on his blog, is essential reading. Here’s his punchy Italian Grand Prix edition from Monday morning.
- Fans of the Japanese sports industry, this one’s for you. SportBusiness International contributer John Duerden has delved into the J-League’s media and broadcast strategy, in the aftermath of its game-changing deal with Perform Group – it’s a fascinating insight.
- The US Open looks a bit different this year, with all sorts of improvements designed to improve the spectator experience. The New York Times’ Sarah Lyall examined the on-site changes last week, speaking to fans, players and executives for this excellent piece.
- And finally, slotting into our popular ‘not-directly-about-the-sportsbiz-but-nonetheless-quite-interesting-and-pretty-relevant’ section, the Boston Globe’s Ty Burr provides a reminder that it’s not just sport that’s facing the challenge of a fragmenting media world and intense competition for eyeballs.
Until next time.