Hi there, global sports industry and hearty congratulations, because you’ve stumbled upon my latest selection of interesting, useful and relevant pieces about how sport is funded and marketed from the past few days. There’s the usual mix of interviews, profiles, features and opinions below, from a variety of sources including newspaper and magazine websites, sport specific websites and the sports industry trade media. If you like what you read, feel free to spread the word about this list and do come back again next week for more.
This week’s sports industry must-reads
- The big news of last week was confirmation from FIFA that an expanded World Cup of 48 teams will take place from 2026. And naturally there were a slew of articles and opinions on the changes and what they’re likely to mean for the tournament and for world football politics. Rob Harris of the Associated Press tends to be my first port of call in these sort of newsy circumstances: here’s his backgrounder on FIFA’s decision and the implications. The Telegraph’s Paul Hayward, meanwhile, is worth reading on just about anything: his take on the supersized World Cup is no exception.
- The Africa Cup of Nations began in Gabon on Saturday. In a piece on the Eurosport website, Nick Ames expertly set the scene on the politics and organisation of the host nation; this, meanwhile, is a fascinating history of how the tournament has been used as a propaganda tool by Vice’s Will Magee.
- Sticking with football in Africa, Professor Simon Chadwick’s South China Morning Post piece on China’s investment in African stadiums is a must-read.
- You wait for years and years and years for an NFL team to come to your city and then two rock up almost at once. So it is in Los Angeles, where the Chargers this week joined the newly-ensconced Rams. MMQB’s Andrew Brandt has an excellent review of the circumstances behind the Chargers’ move from San Diego.
- On the same theme, this is an interesting perspective from Bill Shaikin of the LA Times on the city the Chargers have left behind – and the only remaining major professional sports team left in San Diego, Major League Baseball’s Padres.
- Add this one to the list of novelty and niche sports industry jobs: seismologist for the Seattle Seahawks. Greg Bishop’s Sports Illustrated piece is packed full of fun little details.
- Professional sport and cutting edge technology are intertwined like never before, so it’s always useful to read how a company like Intel is approaching its activity in the sector. Taylor Soper sit down with James Carwana, general manager of the Intel Sports Group, for Geekwire provides a handy update.
- The build up to the Australian Open over the past couple of weeks has seen many of the world’s top male players stop off in the Middle East to play in well-established tournaments in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai. In a piece originally published in Racquet magazine but reprinted this week by Sport360, Reem Abulleil explores tennis in the Middle East and asks why the region has so far failed to produce a world-class talent.
If you’ve reached this far, congratulations again: you’ve completed this week’s reading list. Feel free to email feedback of any sort to firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Twitter @DavidCushnan. And don’t forget to be back here same time (or thereabouts) next week for more.