Hi there sports (business) fans and welcome along to the latest edition of my sports industry reading list, your hopefully essential weekly guide to interesting and informative pieces about the global business of sport. As always, all feedback is gratefully received – email@example.com and, on Twitter, @DavidCushnan – and, if you like it and/or find these lists useful, do spread the word and encourage colleagues and networking pals across the industry to give it a go. Self-promotion done; to business:
This week’s sports industry must-reads
- The NBA is pushing boundaries again. No sooner had it announced the formation of an eSports league, it confirmed that Gatorade will be the title sponsor of its developmental league – the first time a US professional team sports league has sold naming rights. Michael McCann, Sports Illustrated’s legal analyst, breaks down an intriguing sponsorship deal.
- Patrick Nally, known widely as the founding father of international sports sponsorship, has written this extremely interesting account of the challenges involved in establishing the International Federation of Poker, published this week on Inside the Games.
- In an age where everyone has the ability to be a broadcaster, so-called ‘Fan TV’ channels have sprung up across the internet, delivering unofficial and no-holds barred comment from ‘real fans’ as an antidote to the somewhat staid punditry from ex-players and managers that’s commonly found on traditional broadcast television. These fan channels certainly divide opinion and here’s a very good Guardian piece on the topic, by Paul MacInnes.
- With new owners poised to make their mark and a connectivity partner, in Tata Communications, working diligently behind the scenes, Motorsport.com’s Grand Prix editor Jonathan Noble asks whether Formula One is on the cusp of a digital revolution?
- Sticking (sort of) with motorsport, I’m an unashamed admirer of McLaren Applied Technologies, sister company of the Grand Prix team, and its work applying Formula One technology and data expertise to other industries. This superb piece by New Electronics’ Peggy Lee, focuses on the company’s work in healthcare, helping to analyse medical data.
- The European Tour has announced a bold new tournament, with a shorter, more punchy format. GolfSixes will be staged in the UK at the start of May, while another new format is being trialed at an event in Australia this weekend. Inevitably, it’s prompted plenty of debate and The Telegraph’s James Corrigan has written this excellent piece examining the ways in which golf is re-positioning itself as entertainment in the quest to draw new fans.
- With a Rugby World Cup and Tokyo 2020 edging closer, the Japanese sports industry is going to be increasingly in the spotlight over the next few years. Sports Recruitment International has put together this interesting piece on talent acquisition in the country (which, not unreasonably, also promotes SRI’s services in the process), written by Yusuke Isoda.
- A really interesting piece in the Washington Post, by Kevin B. Blackistone, discussing the possible longer-term impact on Under Armor of founder Kevin Plank’s recent comments in support of Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda. It’s a must-read on a topic – brands taking a stance on a major policy or being drawn into a deeply divided political arena – that is not going away.
- And if you’ve managed to read this far, you might as well read this (rather good) piece on attention spans and sport, written by Matt Giles and published on LongReads.com.
That’s all for this week. Come back next week – bring friends! – for more. Until then.