This, as the headlines rather hints at, is the sports industry reading list, my weekly guide to the best, most interesting and most relevant writing on the global business of sport. Whether you’re working in sport or are simply interested in how it’s organised and funded, you’ll hopefully find something of interest below. As usual, the list contains a combination of profiles, long-form features, pin-sharp analysis and interviews with industry grand fromages. Let’s get to it. To business:
This week’s sports industry must-reads
• It’s been a few weeks since heavyweight boxing’s big night at Wembley Stadium, but SportsPro editor Eoin Connolly has been beavering away to produce this, perhaps the definitive behind-the-scenes account of Joshua-Klitschko.
• A big couple of weeks in the golf equipment business, with TaylorMade’s announcement it had signed a megabucks deal with Rory McIlroy swiftly followed by confirmation the company has been sold to KPS Capital Partners. Golf.com’s Alana Johnson sat down with TaylorMade chief executive David Abeles on the why, what and how.
• As the IOC extends its long-term partnership with watch brand Omega, a marvellous slice of Olympic sponsorship history here from Inside the Games’ David Owen.
• One for broadcast production fans: Sportcal’s Martin Ross draws back the curtain and takes a peek inside Infront Sports & Media’s impressive digital operation at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships.
• This is a really fascinating piece, by Nieman’s Joseph Lichterman, on tennis journalism and how Racquet magazine, a quarterly publication, is staking a claim to be the sport’s independent voice.
• In the wake of the mild furore created when Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward told investors last week the club plans to “aggressively” market its in-house TV channel, MUTV, The Drum’s Tony Connolly examines the football club as media company and the real aim: data collection.
• A fascinating deep-dive here by Motorsport.com’s Jonathan Noble explaining how a former Formula One team owner is the man behind the launch of Formula One’s latest fan-friendly initiative.
• Shabab Hossain of Tech Exec shares the highlights of Atlanta Hawks’ chief creative officer Peter Sorckoff’s presentation on rebranding the NBA franchise, from the recent CMO Disrupt event in Melbourne.
• Richard Williams is well worth reading on just about anything. His latest Guardian column is Olympic-focused and makes a compelling case for Paris 2024.