Now that Tom Brady/Lady Gaga have sorted out the Super Bowl, the way’s clear for the main event of the week: this sports industry reading list. Regular visitors to this part of the internet will know that below is my pick of the best and most interesting/useful/mission critical writing about the global business of sport, carefully collated over the past few days. As usual you’ll find a combination of interviews, analysis, opinion pieces, longer-form features and profiles. Intro completed, let’s get going. To business:
This week’s sports industry must-reads
- The best Super Bowl ever was preceded by the usual week of hype, parties, celebrity appearances, fan experiences, business seminars and no little glad-handing in the host city, Houston. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s annual pre-game press conference always provides plenty of talking points and this recap from last week by The Score’s Michael McClymont, is especially handy for those of us an ocean away from the day-to-day business and politics of the league.
- I thought this was a particularly interesting take on Sunday’s remarkable Patriots comeback. The Verge’s Vlad Savov, a self-confessed follower of eSports, reflects on the Super Bowl and how, for him, it highlighted a fairly fundamental flaw in competitive gaming.
- The race to stage the 2024 Olympic Games is well and truly on, with Los Angeles and Paris making the running. Or is it? Here’s Inside the Games’ David Owen with a typically considered look at the possibility the International Olympic Committee may be about to break with decades of convention and name the 2024 and 2028 Games hosts at the same time.
- SportsPro’s Michael Long went to Manila to see the success of ONE Championship, the Asian mixed martial arts property, for himself. What’s not to like? (Note: this piece also includes the best description of one man breaking another’s nose you’re likely to read all week.)
- The Six Nations is underway and Synergy Sponsorship CEO Tim Crow’s City AM piece on the French Rugby Federation’s decision to sell shirt sponsorship for the first time – the last major rugby nation to do so – is well worth your time.
- Also getting underway this week, the World Alpine Skiing Championships in the Swiss resort of St. Moritz. The Associated Press’ Graham Dunbar put together this piece examining the broadcast innovations FIS, world skiing’s governing body, is planning for the next few days.
- Ed Smith’s work is always worth reading and his latest New Statesman contribution, tackling the money spewing out of China and into football, is absolutely no exception.
- Sticking with China, some useful meat on the bones of the recently-announced strategic tie-up between the UCI, world cycling’s governing body, and Wanda Group courtesy of Velonews’ Andrew Hood.
- SpoBis, Germany’s premier sports industry get-together, took place last week in Düsseldorf. I wasn’t there, but I did enjoy these informative postcards from the conference floor by SportBusiness’ Matthew Glendenning.
- The future of stadiums in an eSports world? Curbed’s Patrick Sisson has a fascinating long read on the subject.