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.

 

 

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This week’s sports industry reading list

Time for another sports industry reading list, my carefully selected picks of the best and most interesting writing on the global business of sport from the past seven days or so. As the year gets into swing, you’ll find the usual mix of profiles, interviews, longer features, viewpoints and analysis across all sorts of subjects, sports and markets. Whether sport is your business or you’re a fan interested in the mechanics of how sport is finances, organised and promoted, do let me know if you find it useful. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • Nobody knows if Ronda Rousey will fight again following her latest UFC defeat at the end of December, but, as this Guardian piece by Josh Gross points out, there is a structure and momentum around women’s mixed martial arts that looks set to ensure it thrive even in a post-Rousey world.
  • Bradford Bulls, one of rugby league’s great clubs, was liquidated his week following years of financial problems. BBC rugby league commentator Dave Woods put together this useful piece on the background to the story – and the RFL’s efforts, already well underway, to keep the sport in Bradford.
  • This piece doesn’t mention sport or sponsorship at all, but given Emirates is one of world sport’s biggest sponsors it’s well worth keeping tabs on the challenges the company faces. There are several and Matthew Campbell’s profile, for Bloomberg Businessweek, is certainly worth your time.
  • The arrival of 18 year old Lance Stroll is certain to be a talking point in Formula One this year. He brings talent and money to his new team, Williams, but his swift promotion has reignited the debate about pay drivers, the expense of Formula One and the structure of motorsport’s junior formulae. Renowned Formula One journalist Adam Cooper does an excellent job of tackling these issues in this Motorsport.com piece.
  • Sticking with motorsport (and as regular readers will know that’s something I tend to do as much as possible) I thought this, by David Nelson over on the F1 Broadcasting blog, was a very nice idea, well-executed: a review of the UK television coverage of a Grand Prix from 1995. Read in the era of Sky Sports’ blanket coverage from every nook and cranny of the paddock, it’s a reminder of how far sports broadcasting has come in a little over two decades.
  • Lots of talk this week about Chinese money in sport as we find ourselves smack bang in the middle of another Chinese Super League transfer window, but the China piece that caught my eye this week was this Daily Telegraph feature by Julian Bennetts charting the country’s growing interest and investment in rugby union.

Plenty to keep you going there over the next few days. In the meantime, if you’ve found it useful please do spread the word about this reading list to friends and colleagues. All feedback’s welcome via email – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or on Twitter: @davidcushnan. More next week.