This week’s sports industry reading list

Time for another sports industry reading list, my selection of the week’s most interesting, relevant and – whisper it – perhaps even useful pieces about the global business of sport. As per, below you’ll find the usual mix of interviews, profiles, long-form features, punchy analysis and opinion. What you won’t find this week is anything on the biggest sports money story of the week, Neymar’s record-shattering transfer from Barcelona to Paris (Qatari branch). Like you, I’ve read all sorts of ‘hot takes’ on what it all might mean for Barca, PSG, football in general and global geo-politics. And, if I’m honest, I’m a bit bored of it, so for this week at least this list is a Neymar-free zone. Don’t fret, though – there’s still plenty of fascinating subjects and pieces to get your teeth into. So let’s get to it. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

•  Los Angeles announced its candidacy for the 2028 summer Olympic Games last week, the next step in the somewhat tortuous procedure that will ultimately see the 2024 and 2028 Games hosts officially confirmed in September. But to all intents and purposes it’s done, and in a big week for the Olympics – and in the odd circumstances of being at the start of an 11 year countdown – here’s a view from LA, by the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke.

•  The Championship – for the uninitiated, that’s English football’s second tier – began on Friday and I’ve developed a small theory that, at least on the business side of things, it’s a far more interesting place than the Premier League this season. There’s big clubs, new and interesting owners, plenty of peril and lots and lots of ambition. In an attempt to convince you, here are three eve-of-season pieces well worth your time: The Telegraph’s Sam Wallace sat down with Leeds United’s new owner, Andrea Radrizzani to hear his plans to rebuild the club; Rory Smith’s latest missive for the New York Times saw him examine the curious new ownership of Wolverhampton Wanderers and the links to so-called super agent Jorge Mendes; and Dan McLaren’s latest Digital Sport Insider Podcast episode was a fascinating conversation with Middlesbrough’s Head of Digital and Marketing Development, Bob Tait.

•  A column well worth reading here by the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg on his experience at last week’s Citi Open ATP World Tour event in the city – I think it’s a comment on what seems to be some odd scheduling (and the weather), but you’re probably best served by reading it and draw your own conclusions.

•  This is a very good piece, by Adam Elder and published by the Guardian, on the motivations behind the recent spate of footballer investments in American soccer clubs – and why entering at Major League Soccer level isn’t necessarily the be-all and end-all.

•  In the week when it dipped another of its seemingly infinite number of toes into the world of sports rights, acquiring the ATP World Tour rights for its Prime service, this is a must-read piece by Wired’s Liat Clark outlining how Amazon intends to basically take over the world.

•  Last week this reading list recommended a piece on the downturn of LeEco’s fortunes. This week, it’s the turn of another big Chinese investor in sport, as the New York Times’ Keith Bradsher chronicles the problems facing Wanda.

•  Slightly late to this but, with the World Athletics Championships well underway, it’s still very relevant: Inside the Games’ Duncan Mackay expertly tells the compelling story of the long road travelled by London on the way to staging track and field’s showpiece standalone event.

•  And last but by no means least this week, Sports Business Journal executive editor Abraham D. Madkour caught up with sports business veteran Tony Ponturo, who made his name at the helm of Anheuser-Busch’s vast sports sponsorship portfolio and still has plenty of fingers in sports industry-flavoured pies.

That’s your lot for this week. As always, should you feel the need to drop me a line you can do so via email – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or on Twitter – @DavidCushnan. Until next time.

 

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This week’s sports industry reading list

Hello there, sports business operatives/middle managers/executives/interested observers, and the warmest of welcomes to the latest sports industry reading list. This is my selection of the most interesting, relevant and perhaps even useful pieces on the global business of sport from the past week or so – an eclectic mix, as you’ll discover, of profiles, interviews, long-form features, opinion and analysis. Don’t forget to share the word about this list with industry friends, colleagues and the rest of your ‘network’, if you like what you see below. Right, let’s get this underway. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

•  Every once in a while a piece like this pops up, which takes a country, in this case South Korea, and a sport you wouldn’t particularly associate with it, in this case horse racing. This, by Henry Young and Aly Vance for CNN, on a burgeoning racing industry is fascinating.

•  The World Athletics Championships begin in London this coming Friday and the Guardian’s Martha Kelner sat down with Niels de Vos, chief executive of both UK Athletics and London 2017, for a status report as the final preparations happen.

•  MP & Silva’s enormous bid for Major League Soccer’s global media rights came to light last week. Deadspin’s Billy Haisley expertly broke down what we know and what it might mean.

•  This is a superb piece by Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo, telling the story of the NBA’s first excursion to Russia back in 1988 when the Atlanta Hawks played three exhibition games in the USSR.

•  A piece here, by Engadget’s Cherlynn Low, that touches only briefly on sport but provides some important detail on the difficulties facing LeEco, one of the big spenders on sports rights in China over the past few years.

•  I listened to a very good podcast last week, which featured The Ringer’s Bill Simmons interviewing former Ticketmaster chief executive Nathan Hubbard. Turns out so did Michael Broughton, who followed up with this fascinating piece musing on the threat the ‘sharing economy’ might pose to the sports business.

•  It was five years last week since that fabulous evening in the Olympic Stadium when London 2012 began. Unsurprisingly there were a glut of pieces this week reflecting on the Games and its legacy, but two stuck out to me. The first is this terrific Guardian Cities piece, by Tim Burrows, on the physical and social legacies of the Olympic Park in east London. The second, by Synergy’s Tim Crow writing for Campaign Magazine, examines the post-Olympic UK sports sponsorship landscape.

•  An authoritative and illuminating New York Times profile, here, of Charlie Stillitano, the man behind many of the mega-friendlies we’re currently enjoying (or, if you prefer enduring) before the European season gets underway in a few weeks. It’s written by Kevin Draper.

•  And finally, I’ve very much enjoyed Alan Abrahamson’s dispatches from the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest on his 3 Wire Sports site this past week. In particular, this piece, discussing the relevance of Olympic sports like swimming in an era of sports-entertainment mash-ups such as Michael Phelps racing a shark, provides plenty of food for thought.

Those, then, are my sports industry must-reads for this week. Hopefully you’ll find something interesting, useful or just a bit thought provoking among them. As always, all feedback is welcome – you can reach me at davidcushnan@gmail.com, or on Twitter – @DavidCushnan. Until next time.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Welcome along to the sports industry reading list, your weekly guide to the best, most interesting and most relevant writing on the global business of sport (accept no imitations). As usual, you’re invited to scroll down for a variety of pieces plucked from across the internet – from newspaper sites to specialist sports publications, social media to sports trade media platforms. And don’t forget to share widely – you’ll find me on Twitter and at davidcushann@gmail.com – among industry friends and colleagues. Parish notices concluded, let’s get down to business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

•  Rob Harris spent his week in Bahrain, chronicling Fifa’s latest Congress. Here’s his razor-sharp Associated Press analysis of another noteworthy week in world football politics.

•  The European Tour’s first GolfSixes event – a short-form version of the game, with added dry ice and pyrotechnics – took place last weekend in St Albans, just north of London. Matt Cooper’s review of the razzmatazz for ESPN is well worth a read.

•  A fascinating and shrewd piece by former Olympic 1,500 metre runner Ross Murray, for Athletics Weekly, on the challenges of securing sponsorship for track and field athletes in an age of YouTube and reality TV ‘influencers’.

•  As the International Olympic Committee’s evaluation commission moves from Los Angeles to Paris, as it considers the strengths and weaknesses of both the remaining 2024 bids, Inside the Games’ Nick Butler considers the way the organisation communicates and wonders whether, in 2017, there might be a more effective way for it to do so.

•  More essential reading on Formula One’s finances from Autosport’s Dieter Rencken, who has the inside line on how the sport’s revenues have been distributed among the teams this year.

•  A cracking read full of interesting stories on what life is really like as an NBA player agent, by Alex Kennedy for the USA Today’s HoopsHype site.

•  Paddy Upton, head coach of the Indian Premier League’s Delhi Daredevils, has peered into his crystal ball for ESPNCricInfo and predicted what cricket will look like in 2027.

•  A typically thought-provoking piece by Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim, considering the impact the shift from linear broadcast to OTT might have on college sports in the United States.

•  Some expert eSports commentary here from Seven League senior consultant Charlie Beall, in a piece published this week on SportsPro’s website.

•  And finally, professional consultant Dave Wakeman turns his attention, via this interesting LinkedIn article, to the big topics: Nascar, stories, community and humanity.

That’s your lot for this edition, but be sure to check back here next week for another list of recommended reading about the sports industry. Until next time.

This week’s sports industry reading list

It’s been another substantial week of sports industry news and events, with more to come in the next seven days (and, incidentally, if you do happen to find yourself with a reading list-sized gap on your table for Thursday’s Sport Industry Awards – and a plus one, naturally – then I might just be able to help solve that pickle for you…). In this breathless, every-second’s-a-deadline industry, it can sometimes be tricky to keep up with the big issues, the movements of the major players and the essential talking points. That’s where this reading list comes in. It’s a gentle stroll through the best and most interesting recent writing on the global business of sport – hand-selected pieces from across the world wide web, available on one handy page. I think you’ve got the gist – so let’s dive in. To business.

It’s tucked behind Autosport’s paywall, but do find a way to read this revealing interview with Bernie Ecclestone, who returned to the Formula One paddock last weekend in Bahrain, by Dieter Rencken.

The views of another sports industry veteran, here, as David Stern, commissioner of the NBA until 2014, sits down for a chat with Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press.

MMQB’s Peter King delves into exactly how the NFL 2017 season schedule was created, lifting the lid on a fascinating and secretive process.

Plenty of interesting perspective here from the legendary Michael Johnson, talking to Sportcal’s Callum Murray about athletics’ past, present and future.

must-read but frankly dispiriting piece in the Observer by Jamil Chade, charting the stench of corruption which has come to surround Brazil’s hosting of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

Since Durban was stripped of the hosting rights to the 2022 Commonwealth Games a few weeks ago, several cities have expressed interest in stepping in. Duncan Mackay’s latest piece – an excellent one – for Inside the Games ponders this intriguing development and wonders if the International Olympic Committee ought to be taking a leaf out of the Commonwealth Games Federation’s (bid) book.

Oliver Holt’s latest Mail on Sunday column examines the perception of a growing North-South divide in English football and the recent suggestions that clubs based in the North may look to open training bases in the South, in a bid to attract playing talent.

And finally, Dom Curran, chief executive of Synergy’s US operation, is given space on SportsPro’s website to consider the prospects for Formula One in the United States following Liberty’s acquisition.

That’s this week’s essential reading. Don’t forget to share widely with clients and colleagues across the industry – and, as always, feedback and thoughts are welcome at davidcushnan@gmail.com or on Twitter: @DavidCushnan. Until next time.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Here comes another sports industry reading list, brought to you by [INSERT YOUR COMPANY’S NAME HERE – analytics available on request]. This is where I summarise the best of the week’s writing on the global business of sport, from sponsorship to media rights, politics to marketing and lots in between – anything, indeed, that I think might be even halfway relevant for someone working in the industry or just keen to dig into how sport is organised and funded. It’s been a busy week – it was great to bump in to one or two reading list superfans at SportsPro Live in London on Wednesday and Thursday – and there’s a bumper selection below, so let’s crack on. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads:

  • In a week in which the England & Wales Cricket Board added some more meat to the bones of its plan to launch a city-based Twenty20 tournament, this fascinating in-depth piece by David Hopps for ESPN CricInfo examines an uncertain future for one of England’s great cricketing counties, Yorkshire.
  • The NFL has confirmed that the Oakland Raiders are to move to Las Vegas. There’s been a slew of interesting pieces since Monday’s vote by the league’s owners, not least this, from ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, which suggests that this may be the relocation that ends the NFL’s multi-billion dollar era of new stadiums.
  • SportBusiness International editor Ben Cronin sat down with IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe at the recent Leaders conference in New York. Plenty to discuss, as you’d expect; this is a piece well worth your time.

That’s this week’s reading list: standby for more next week, and in the meantime do feel free to drop me a line – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or share widely on Twitter. Until next time.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Good morning/afternoon/evening and the warmest of welcomes to the sports industry reading list, my weekly(ish) pick of the best and most interesting pieces about – or somehow relevant to – the global business of sport. If you work in or around the industry, or are simply interested in how professional sport works and is funded, then hopefully what follows will be handy. Intro over, let’s crack on. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • Is it the beginning of the end for Wi-Fi? Almost certainly not, but nonetheless this Bloomberg piece, by Olga Kharif, should provide food for thought, especially for those who have spent time and money installing expensive infrastructure to ensure sports venues are fully connected.
  • And after a big couple of weeks for Snapchat, here’s an in-depth primer on the platform and its likely future, by GSV Capital (read it quickly, just in case it disappears).

That’s another reading list posted for eternity here on the internet. Do make sure to be back online next week for another. And in the meantime, if you happen to be connected, feel free to get in touch at davidcushnan@gmail.com or on Twitter: @DavidCushnan. Until next time.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Time, once again, for the sports industry reading list, my weekly(ish) guide to pieces of note about the global business of sport. They might be profiles, interviews, opinion pieces or long-form features and they might be about sponsorship, media rights, fan engagement, the way big events are organised or an industry grand fromage. You get the idea, I’m sure, so let’s get underway. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • The BBC’s Greg Dunlop has an interesting tale from Australia, where a Facebook Live stream of a recent pay per view boxing bout has prompted a debate around rights infringements and underlined the challenges rights holders face in protecting their content. It’s a piece that has relevance for the entire the sports and media industries.
  • Heineken is, of course, one of world sport’s most prominent sponsors so it’s always handy to keep up to speed with what the company’s global sponsorship chief Hans Erik Tuijt is thinking. Dan Cancian of the IB Times is asking the questions here.
  • Was this the week when drone racing came of commercial age? It’s a ridiculous question, but what we can say with certainty is that Allianz has signed up as the new title sponsor of the Drone Racing League. And, perhaps as importantly, this new tech-sport is deemed worthy of a major – and very good – piece in the Observer, written by Simon Parkin.
  • Jon Wertheim’s Sports Illustrated interview with Dana White, ringmaster of the UFC, covers plenty of ground – from election night to Ronda Rousey, working with Ari Emanuel to fighter welfare – and is absolutely riveting.

That’s this week’s list. As always feel free to get in touch via davidcushnan@gmail.com or, on Twitter, @DavidCushnan. Until next week.