This week’s sports industry reading list

We’re smack bang in the middle of another fabulous (northern hemisphere) summer of sport – Wimbledon’s been and gone, the magnificent Tour de France is concluding in Paris as I write, the Women’s World Cup is about to be lifted at a packed Lord’s, the best para-athletes in the world have been running, jumping and throwing in London for the last week and the Open Championship has underlined again why it’s one of my very favourite sporting events. But there’s a whole heap of business behind all that top-class sport, which is where this blog comes in: below you’ll find my selection of relevant and hopefully interesting pieces on the global sports industry – profiles, features, interviews and analysis. It’ll almost certainly make you more informed at your sports industry water cooler of choice, your next cocktail reception or riveting networking breakfast. Got the gist? Good. To business.

This week’s sports industry must-reads

•  This week in sports politics, FINA, the governing body of world aquatics, re-elected its 81-year old president Julio Maglione. But that’s really only a small sliver of the story. Alan Abrahamson was among those prowling the hotel lobby in Budapest this week, as the administrators of one of the Olympics’ most high-profile sports gathered ahead of the World Aquatics Championships, and has all the important context and analysis in this terrific piece. This, meanwhile, is a damning verdict on the sport’s governance and governors by Swim Vortex’s Craig Lord.

•  A major sports industry move last week as Sophie Goldschmidt, once of the RFU and latterly of the CSM agency, was appointed the new CEO of the World Surf League. SportsPro’s Michael Long bagged one of the first interviews with Goldschmidt following the announcement, in which she outlines her belief that surfing is poised for a significant global breakthrough.

•  Rumours abound that Porsche, fresh from yet another triumph at Le Mans, is poised to withdraw from the top category of sportscar racing, LMP1 – perhaps as soon as at the end of this season. Gary Watkins explains what’s going on – and examines the modern considerations a car manufacturer must make when deciding on its motorsport strategy – in this excellent piece of analysis for Motor Sport.

•  Sports leagues moving beyond their traditional geographical boundaries, in the quest for more money and new fans, is an ongoing industry trend. Last week came reports of one of the most unexpected expansions yet, with rugby union’s Pro 12 league – currently featuring teams from Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy – set to include two South African franchises from next season. The BBC’s Tom English expertly fills in the blanks in this must-read piece.

•  In a somewhat similar vein, some interesting comment here from Richard Scudamore, executive chairman of the Premier League, on the prospect of one day playing competitive games outside the UK. It’s an idea he’s floated before, of course, but he returned to the theme in conversation with a group of journalists including the South China Morning Post’s James Porteous last week in Hong Kong, where the league has been staging its pre-season Asia Trophy,

•  Here’s Sportcal’s Martin Ross with a personal view well worth reading on Uefa’s growing desire to put live Champions League games behind a paywall in its major markets.

•  A fascinating read on a slightly uncomfortable subject here by Bloomberg Businessweek’s Lauren Coleman-Lochner, and one with plenty of relevance to sport: the marketing rights of dead celebrities.

•  This is an excellent piece, by Emre Sarigul for the Guardian, on Turkish football club Besiktas’ recent progress on and off the field – and the Istanbul club’s plans to look beyond Turkish borders in the same way as other European football heavyweights.

•  In this piece, reprinted on the Sports Illustrated website this week after featuring in a recent edition of the magazine, Jacob Feldman asks what cricket and its introduction of the Twenty20 format can teach American sports currently hesitating over whether to tweak their own rules for the modern world.

•  A very good Washington Post piece here, by Tim Bontemps, on the NBA’s efforts to ‘own’ July, traditionally the slowest month for America’s major leagues. You will not be surprised, given the way everything the NBA touches appears to turn to gold, to hear that those efforts have been effective.

That’s your lot for this week – thanks, as always, for reading and don’t forget to share the existence of this blog with friends and colleagues; you know it makes sense. You can get in touch, for any reason, via email – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or on Twitter: @DavidCushnan. Until next time.

This week’s sports industry reading list

This is the sports industry reading list, your relatively regular guide to what to read if sport is your business, or you’re simply keen to know more about the way global sport is financed and organised. As usual, there’s a real mix featured below: interviews, analysis, profiles, long-form pieces and five-minute reads, sourced from across the world wide web – from newspaper sites to specialist sport platforms, the industry trade media to personal blogs. With that, you’re fully up to speed so let’s get cracking with a selection of pieces from the past couple of weeks. To business:

•  To begin, a couple of pieces published immediately before the start of Wimbledon last week: Sean Ingle in the Guardian produced this superb piece on how the All England Club is moving with the times, while the Mail on Sunday’s Nick Harris told the remarkable tale of Sir David Attenborough’s pivotal role in tennis history.

•  After 37 years, multiple world titles and no little controversy, Ron Dennis has finally severed ties with McLaren – the racing team he built into a multi-faceted technology group. The BBC’s Andrew Benson put together this must-read piece on one of the most significant figures in Formula One history.

•  As if to underline the transition from old McLaren to new McLaren, here’s an interesting LinkedIn post, authored by the team’s executive director Zak Brown, outlining Formula One’s Asian opportunity.

•  Sticking with motorsport, Jeff Gluck, writing on his eponymous blog, has expertly delved into the complex world of Nascar’s merchandising operation.

•  The latest in Callum Murray’s excellent series of interviews with sports industry heavyweights sees him sit down with Michael Payne, the former International Olympic Committee marketing director-turned-adviser to various bids, federations, properties and brands.

•  The Tour de France is moving into its second week, with rights-holding broadcasters now being offered live coverage of every second of every stage. The superb Inner Ring blog examines the French TV landscape to explain why.

•  The debate over how elite sport is funded in the UK rumbled on and I thought this, an open letter from former badminton player Gail Emms to new UK Sport chair Katherine Grainger, was a particularly noteworthy recent contribution.

•  Canada celebrated its 150th anniversary a week or so ago and to mark the occasion Sportsnet’s Stephen Brunt produced this fascinating long read on the country’s continuing obsession with hockey.

•  A typically thoughtful piece here from SportsPro deputy editor Adam Nelson, published in the wake of the release of the magazine’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes list, on the crossovers between sport and popular culture.

•  And finally here’s that authoritative piece on the challenge of making Australian horse racing relevant to a younger generation you’ve been waiting for, by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Chris Roots.

Those are the sports business pieces you ought to be reading this week. Thanks for reading, as ever. And as ever, you can reach me via email – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or on Twitter: @DavidCushnan

This week’s sports industry reading list

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.

Many thanks, as always, for reading and (as I’m sure you’re about to) sharing far and wide. Feel free to drop me a line via email – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or on Twitter. 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

Welcome along to the latest edition of my sports industry reading list, a guide to the pick of recent writing on the global business of sport. This edition features pieces from the last couple of weeks; as usual, there’s a mix of interviews, analysis, profiles, longer-form features and opinion from across the world wide web, published by newspapers, magazines, specialist sport websites and the sports trade media. You get the gist, I’m sure. Time to get to the good stuff. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

•  The Financial Times’ Frankfurt correspondent James Shotter examines the relentless and controversial rise of RB Leipzig, the Red Bull-owned Bundesliga team which has just qualified for next season’s Champions League.

•  Last week marked the 23rd anniversary of the death of the great Ayrton Senna. This is an fascinating BBC piece, written by South American business correspondent Daniel Gallas, looking at the business of Senna in 2017 and the social impact his name – his brand – continues to have in Brazil.

•  Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein draws back the curtain on NBC’s promotional preparation for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games, which take place next February.

•  Sticking with the Olympics, the International Olympic Committee’s evaluation commission are heading to Los Angeles this week. Sportcal’s Jon Rest has produced this handy guide to the strengths and potential weaknesses of the American bid for the 2024 Games.

•  If you’re able to navigate the paywall, do make time for this piece on the growing concept of Premier League football tourism and the Premier League by the Times’ Alyson Rudd.

•  A well-argued piece by Anya Alvarez in the Guardian on the LPGA’s (daft) decision to use a Twitter poll to determine which of four professional golfers should gain a sponsor’s exemption slot at an upcoming tournament.

•  A piece from a few weeks ago that’s well worth your time: Redef’s Mike Vorkunov investigates the Philadelphia 76er’s move into the world of VC and the launch of its ‘Innovation Lab’.

•  SportBusiness Journal’s executive editor Abe Madkour put together this useful wrap-up of the main talking points from this year’s CAA World Congress of Sport.

•  And finally, one to place in the not-strictly-about-the-sports-industry-but-potentially-relevant-nonetheless file, from the pen of Mark Weinberger and published on the World Economic Forum website. Does the rise of virtual and augmented reality signal the beginning of the end for smartphones and TV?

That’s your reading sorted for this week. Do pop back next week for another list and in the meantime, should you feel inclined I can be reached at davidcushnan@gmail.com or on Twitter, @DavidCushnan. Until next time.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Welcome, sports industry, to this week’s reading list, my pick of the best recent writing on the business of sport – be it about sponsorship, how sport is broadcast, event organisation, the politics or finances. As always, let me know if it works for you, via email – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or on Twitter, where you’ll find me @DavidCushnan. Let’s get cracking. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • Three have become two with the news that Budapest is dropping out of the race to stage the 2024 Olympics. The decision raises all sorts of questions -again – about the Games and how much they cost, and gives another telling indication of the current public perception of the Olympics in Europe. Alan Abrahamson’s 3 Wire Sports site is a useful first port of call whenever the Olympics are on the agenda. His long-read on the state of the 2024 race and his case for Los Angeles to be awarded the 2024 Games is compelling.
  • Olympic sport funding hit the headlines again in the UK last week when seven sports – badminton, fencing and weightlifting among them – lost their appeals against UK Sport’s original decision to cut the amount they will receive in the Tokyo 2020 cycle. It all seems a bit too clinical: an unashamed medals at all-costs approach. Paul Hayward’s column in The Telegraph on the subject hits the mark.
  • Sunday’s Daytona 500 marked the start of the Nascar season and the first race of Monster Energy’s Cup series title sponsorship. Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern sat down with Monster’s Mitch Covington to get an insight into the energy drink brand’s activation plans for 2017.
  • Nobody working in sport needs reminding that piracy is a major issue, particularly in the age of Facebook Live. But this remains a fascinating piece by Mari Luiz Peinado, for the English version of the El Pais newspaper, investigating exactly how these illegal streams are thriving in Spain – and why they’re so difficult to police.
  • And if your eyes are tired reading all of that, give them a rest and open your ears to this really excellent podcast episode from The Ringer’s Bill Simmons. His guest, Ben Thompson of Stratechery, is fascinating on the business models of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Netflix and the other tech giants. It’s not about sport, but I’d say it’s an hour well spent for anyone working in the sports industry.

That’s all for this week. But do be back here – same time, same place, or whenever you like really – for another selection of must-reads.

 

 

This week’s sports industry reading list

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 – davidcushnan@gmail.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.
  • 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.

That’s all for this week. Come back next week – bring friends! – for more. Until then.

 

 

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.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Thanks for stopping by – or stumbling across – the sports industry reading list, your one-stop, hopefully handy guide to the best, most interesting and most useful recent writing about the global business of sport. As usual, I’ve selected a mix of interviews, profiles and analysis from a variety of sources – newspaper websites, specialist sport outlets and the sports industry trade press. Ready? Set? To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • The Olympic Games are but a month away. Like many, NBC have been preparing for Rio 2016 for years and this Ad Week interview with Jon Miller, NBC Olympics’ chief marketing officer, is a useful guide to the network’s promotional plans for the next few weeks. A.J. Katz asks the questions.
  • Kevin Durant’s announcement (made, as is the way in the modern world, via Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune website) that he’s joining the Golden State Warriors has understandably made waves. This interesting Sports Techie analysis of the motives behind the move posits the theory that the draw of Silicon Valley was magnetic.
  • Fitting neatly into this list’s occasional ‘not directly sports business-related but perhaps relevant for anyone whose business is sport’ category, here’s a fascinating piece from The Drum on The Pool, an online outlet aimed at professional women. Katie McQuater’s piece is well worth your time, especially if content creation’s your game (which it almost certainly is).
  • And a ‘sports industry must-listen’ to round things off. Adam Parsons’ Wake Up to Money programme on BBC Radio 5 Live has spawned a sports business spin-off – and an accompanying podcast. The first edition features, amongst others, British Olympic Association chief executive Bill Sweeney.

As always, all feedback is welcome. You can get in touch by emailing davidcushnan@gmail.com or on Twitter, @DavidCushnan.

This week’s sports industry reading list

And we’re back. Call it a sabbatical, call it a hiatus, call it a didn’t-quite-get-round-to-it – frankly, call it whatever you want. The key thing to note is that this is the sports industry reading list, your sometimes-weekly guide to interesting, fascinating, informative and entertaining profiles, interviews, articles, features and opinions on the global business of sport. For readers joining us at the start of what we’ll generously call ‘season two’, you’ll tend to find a mix of pieces from mainstream media, specialist trade publications and some sport-specific outlets. Right, let’s get (re)started. To business:

This week’s sports industry reading list

  • Sticking with sports broadcasting, whether baseball is your sport or not this profile of Los Angeles legend Vin Scully – in his 67th and final year of his commentating career – is well worth your time. It’s by Tom Verducci and by dint of the remarkable length of Scully’s tenure it’s effectively a fascinating anecdotal history  of sports broadcasting.
  • In the week when Jose Mourinho is poised to take up the reins at Old Trafford, this is a razor-sharp analysis, by the Irish Times’ Ken Early, of why he makes perfect sense for a club – and company – at this stage in its history. This might just be the best piece of sports business analysis you’ll read this year.
  • China’s investment in sports teams, agencies and events is growing by the week – Aston Villa and MP & Silva have been added to the portfolio in the last few days – but this Reuters piece, by Brenda Goh, approaches the country’s sporting strategy from the other extreme, examining how its athlete development and grassroots plans are evolving.
  • Difficult days for the International Olympic Committee, these, as Rio 2016, with all its challenges, looms, the doping crisis playing out in front of the world and increasingly murky questions around Tokyo 2020’s winning bid for its Games. This, from the Guardian’s Owen Gibson, is a must-read on the latter.

That’s your lot for this week. As ever, you can find me on Twitter – @DavidCushnan, or reach me via email by typing in the following: davidcushnan@gmail.com.

Until next time.