This week’s sports industry reading list

Hello, global sports industry and welcome to my sports industry reading list, a handpicked (clicked?) selection of the pieces you really ought to be reading this week if you work in sport, or simply want to know more about the business behind it. As you’ll be all too aware if you’re a regular reader, what follows below includes profiles, interviews, features, analysis and opinion from all corners of the internet – newspaper websites to specialist sports platforms, the trade media and other blogs. Those are the terms and conditions: let’s get to this week’s essential reading. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

•  Few men have had as much influence over the way we watch sport on TV than David Hill. The former Fox executive offers his latest bets for the future of sports broadcasting to John Ourand in this fascinating Sports Business Journal piece.

•  In a week of some note for the Olympics (a step closer to awarding the 2024 and 2028 Games simultaneously and the launch of the Olympic Channel in the United States), Phil Hersch, on his Globetrotter blog, phoned up Peter Ueberroth, architect of the event the last time Los Angeles played host to the Games 33 years ago, and “gave him the chance to gloat”.

•  And speaking of the launch of the American version of the Olympic Channel (or to give it its full title, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA), here’s the story of how it came to be and what it’s intended to be, explained with typical style by Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch.

•  I once interviewed Agustin Pichot and he is undoubtedly one of the most impressive athlete-turned-administrators I’ve encountered. The vice chairman of World Rugby’s thoughts on the future of his sport, as told to the Daily Telegraph’s Daniel Schofield, are well worth reading.

•  This Chuck Blazer obituary, written by the Guardian’s Michael Carlson, following the football administrator’s death last week, is a reminder of an influential and controversial life.

•  The football transfer window, as you can’t fail to have noticed (the draft is, frankly, unavoidable), wide open. I enjoyed this Independent piece, by lawyer and prominent tweeter Jake Cohen, which cuts through the flim-flam to reveal the realities of a major transfer.

• Maybe – maybe – the most interesting transfer of the summer in the Premier League is the appointment of journalist Tony Barrett as the head of club and supporter liaison. Barrett sat down with the Liverpool Echo’s Andy Kelly to explain his new role and his plans for shaping it.

•  It’s been a year since WME-IMG acquired the Ultimate Fighting Championship. ESPN’s expert-in-chief Darren Rovell has been avidly reporting and tweeting about the organisation’s highs and lows throughout that period: his first year business report card is worth your time.

•  A fascinating long-read here, pulled together expertly by Mark J. Burns for Forbes, on the rise and rise of sports/popular culture/lifestyle digital platform Barstool Sports.

•  Blink (over a 24 hour period) and you’d have missed it, but I posted my first Instagram Stories content this week. Turns out I’m not the only one, as this Digiday UK piece by Lucia Moses, reflecting the rise of Instagram and (perhaps) the decline of Snapchat, underlines.

So that’s your lot for this week, but if you think I’ve missed something or have any other feedback do let me know – either via email,, or on Twitter, where I can be found @DavidCushnan. Until next time.






This week’s sports industry reading list

And we’re back. This is the sports industry reading list, returning after a brief hiatus during which, frankly, there have often been more important things to be reading about. Nonetheless, I’ve curated – LOVE that word – the best, the most interesting and the most relevant pieces on the global business of sport from the past few days – a mix of interviews, profiles, long-form features, punchy analysis and opinion. So let’s get going. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads:

•  A very good series from the Guardian, Sport 2.0, went live last week with the aim of considering the future of sport in a connected world. It’s all well worth reading but the pick, to my mind, is Simon Hattenstone’s piece examining the way in which consumption of football is changing almost before our eyes.

•  An extensive interview here – so extensive it had to be split in two – with new PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, by SportsPro’s America’s editor Michael Long, on his plans to grow the game and how he intends to make his own mark in a role held for so long by Tim Finchem.

•  World sport’s attention is gradually moving once again towards Russia, with the World Cup just a year away and the Confederations Cup now up and running. Nick Ames, writing for ESPN FC, put together this interesting piece on Kazan, a city that may help to change perceptions of the host country over the next 12 months.

•  It’s on (with extra hype). Mayweather versus McGregor, August 26th, Las Vegas. And, happily, Kevin Draper has already written perhaps the definitive ‘business behind the bout’ piece in the New York Times.

•  Nascar writer Jeff Gluck has got a nice little series running where he speaks to various series stakeholders about their personal social media strategy. The latest edition, featuring former Nascar champion and prolific tweeter Brad Keselowski, is particularly fascinating.

•  Hein Verbruggen, the influential and controversial former president of world cycling’s governing body, died last week. Sportcal’s Callum Murray sat down with the Dutchman as recently as May for what turned out to be his final interview – it’s a fascinating long read.

•  Plenty to chew on in Olympic sponsorship circles over the past few days, with Intel poised to join the worldwide marketing programme and the early conclusion to the longstanding partnership between the Games and McDonald’s. Inside the Games’ Michael Pavitt’s latest blog considers the IOC’s current financial landscape.

•  It’s Women’s Sports Week in the UK and the BBC has published an analysis of the gender prize money gap. The summary: it’s closing. The full details, put together by Anna Thompson & Kate Kopczyk, are well worth your time.

•  And finally, a long and revealing LA Times profile of Jeanie Buss, controlling owner and president of the Los Angeles Lakers, by Tania Ganguli.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading and, if you feel the need, do drop me a line at or find me 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 – 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 one, welcome all to this week’s sports industry reading list, your handy guide to the best and most interesting writing on the global business of sport. A mix of profiles, interviews, analysis and feature-length pieces, as usual the pieces come from a variety of sources – newspapers, digital publishers, specialist blogs, sport-specific sites and the sports industry trade media. That’s the intro, now let’s get to the good stuff. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • The good people at Leaders hosted their New York event last week, featuring a truly stellar line up of speakers. I popped in and out of the Times Center during the conference, so Steven Slayford’s daily reviews for SportBusiness International, here and here, were particularly useful on who said what.
  • Back in Europe, the Football Talks conference took place in Portugal last week. That’s where SportsPro editor Eoin Connolly caught up with Alejandro Dominguez, the president of Conmebol, governing body of South American football, to discuss his achievements since being elected in January 2016 and what his next moves might be.
  • The Irish Times’ Gerry Thornley has written this excellent in-depth piece examining the bids and bidding process for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, which sees France, South Africa and Ireland vying to host. The crucial vote is in November.
  • A piece from a week or two ago, by Wired’ Paul Sarconi, that’s well worth reading for anyone working in sport who’s using (or thinking of using) Instagram to post highlight clips.
  • Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, a man always worth reading on sports media matters, asks a simple but extremely pertinent question: Would you pay for 24/7 live streaming of your favourite sports star? It’s a fascinating prospect and a fascinating read.

That’s all for now – you’ll doubtless have feedback, so do feel free to drop me a line at or on Twitter: @DavidCushnan. Until next time.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Hi there, global sports industry and hearty congratulations, because you’ve stumbled upon my latest selection of interesting, useful and relevant pieces about how sport is funded and marketed from the past few days. There’s the usual mix of interviews, profiles, features and opinions below, from a variety of sources including newspaper and magazine websites, sport specific websites and the sports industry trade media. If you like what you read, feel free to spread the word about this list and do come back again next week for more.

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • You wait for years and years and years for an NFL team to come to your city and then two rock up almost at once. So it is in Los Angeles, where the Chargers this week joined the newly-ensconced Rams. MMQB’s Andrew Brandt has an excellent review of the circumstances behind the Chargers’ move from San Diego.
  • Professional sport and cutting edge technology are intertwined like never before, so it’s always useful to read how a company like Intel  is approaching its activity in the sector. Taylor Soper sit down with James Carwana, general manager of the Intel Sports Group, for Geekwire provides a handy update.
  • The build up to the Australian Open over the past couple of weeks has seen many of the world’s top male players stop off in the Middle East to play in well-established tournaments in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai. In a piece originally published in Racquet magazine but reprinted this week by Sport360, Reem Abulleil explores tennis in the Middle East and asks why the region has so far failed to produce a world-class talent.

If you’ve reached this far, congratulations again: you’ve completed this week’s reading list. Feel free to email feedback of any sort to or find me on Twitter @DavidCushnan. And don’t forget to be back here same time (or thereabouts) next week for more.


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 or on Twitter, @DavidCushnan.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Welcome to the sports industry reading list, a hopefully handy guide to the best in recent writing on the global business of sport. As always, contributions come from a combination of newspaper and magazine websites, specialist sport sites and marketing, media and sports trade publications. Quick, Euro 2016’s about to start – so let’s get moving. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads 

  • I’m absolutely not qualified to tell you anything you don’t already know about the late Muhammad Ali. I’m too young to have seen him fight, but just about old enough to have some sort of appreciation of his immense contribution to sport, pop culture and society – and to the business of sport. I was in the same room as him once, at a Beyond Sport event just before the London Olympics in 2012, although of course he was by then but a shadow of his former self, Parkinson’s sadly taking hold. You’ll doubtless have read many tributes, obituaries and reflections on Ali in recent days (the internet is understandably full of them) but these pieces – one by the Telegraph’s Paul Hayward and this by the late Frank Keating in the Guardian – jumped out at me on Saturday morning. Do also have a read of my dad’s Ali reflections over on his blog.
  • A really interesting piece by Julia Greenberg published last week by Wired here on the NBA’s foray into China and the lessons some of America’s other international brands can learn.

That’s this week’s selection. Do drop by again soon. In the meantime, you can find me on Twitter – @DavidCushnan – or reach me via email:

This week’s sports industry reading list

Welcome to the sports industry reading list, a handpicked selection of the most relevant and interesting pieces on the global business of sport. As always I’ve scoured the internet for the best profiles, opinion pieces, features and expert analysis and here, with not as much as a drum-roll to manufacture some tension, are the results.

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • The votes have long since been cast, counted, verified and maybe even destroyed, and Gianni Infantino is Fifa’s new president. With the dust now settled on the Fifa Congress, Keir Radnedge produced this excellent analysis of how Infantino’s victory came to pass.
  • It’s two weeks until the lights go out in Melbourne for the start of the 2016 Formula One world championship. The new cars have been launched and tested, and it appears I’m not alone in being a little disappointed that many of them have been painted in very similar colours. Over on his website, James Allen sought out the opinion of a professional designer. Note: this piece contains some forthright views and is all the better for it.
  • It’s ten years since the winter Olympics took place in Turin. Over on the official Olympic website, I thought this was an interesting piece on the legacy of the Games. It’s written with something of an agenda (Agenda 2020, to be precise), of course, but nonetheless it’s a useful retrospective on an Olympic city ten years after the circus has left town.

That’s that – apart from a quick happy anniversary to Mike Laflin and the team at Sportcal, celebrating 25 years covering the business of sport this week – but do return for another list of sports industry must-reads next week.

In the meantime, feel free to drop me an email or, for more public feedback, seek me out on Twitter.

This week’s sports industry reading list – Fifa election special!

FIFA elects its new president on Friday and so no apologies for the fact that this week’s sports industry reading list has a world football governing body tinge to it. As always, though, this is my pick of the most interesting writing on the global business of sport from the past few days, published by newspapers, specialist titles and pretty much any other nook and cranny of the internet. Let’s get underway.

This week’s FIFA-related must-reads:

  • Friday will mark the formal end of Sepp Blatter’s tenure at the helm of FIFA. Martyn Ziegler, now safely installed as the Times’ chief sports reporter, sat down with Blatter last week, delivering this terrific piece (the portraits of Blatter by Marc Aspland are pretty darn good too).
  • There are those who suggest that anybody actually interested in becoming FIFA president should automatically be excluded from the process, but five men have stayed the course and will be on the ballot paper in Zurich. Rob Harris from the Associated Press put together these handy pen pictures of them all.
  • An essential read on the favourite (or joint-favourite, or close second favourite) Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, whose campaign has been marred by his questionable record on human rights, by James M. Dorsey.

This week’s non-Fifa related sports industry must-reads:

  • The Daily Telegraph’s football correspondent Sam Wallace wrote a fascinating piece on the financial implications of Real Madrid’s basketball operation.
  • Written before the closest Daytona 500 finish in history on Sunday, Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel sat down with Danica Patrick to discuss the end of her long-term corporate relationship with Go Daddy and her new major partner Nature’s Bakery. It’s a really good, detailed insight into the dynamics of the athlete as brand ambassador.
  • Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated used his always-interesting weekly media column to conduct a roundtable with several members of the mixed martial arts media. It’s a fascinating read on access and attitudes in the UFC and the other major promotions.
  • And finally this week, a must-listen: Matt Cutler, the former editor of Sport Business (not to mention my sports business trade magazine nemesis for several years) has launched his new podcast venture, SB Weekly. His first guest is Riccardo Silva, grand mozzarella  at MP & Silva. You’ll find it here.

That’s all for now. You can email me at or send me a tweet @DavidCushnan. See you back here next week.

This week’s sports industry reading list

This is the sports industry reading list, your regular guide to the profiles, features, columns, opinions and essays you really ought to be reading if your business is sport, or if you have even a passing interest in how sport is governed, financed and organised. It’s been a busy week, so let’s get cracking right away. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • A key milestone this week in the long trek towards the 2024 summer Olympic Games host city announcement, as the four contenders delivered part one of their candidature files to IOC headquarters in Switzerland. Los Angeles became the third of the four to launch its official bid logo, Paris and Rome held big bid launch events, while Budapest has so far opted for a more low-key approach. The candidature files themselves – Los Angeles 2024, Budapest 2024, Paris 2024, Rome 2024 – are always worth a look and are always full of interesting detail. (How much of that detail is actually read by voting IOC members is, of course, another story entirely).
  • Fifa votes in its new president next week, so you’ll be reading plenty about the contenders, their merits and their baggage over the next few days. My pick of the many Fifa-related pieces from this week, however, is this beautifully presented and superbly researched ESPN story on the FBI investigation into the organisation, put together by Shaun Assael and Brett Forrest.
  • ESPN published another superb long read this week, as Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham told the story of the NFL’s decision to relocate the Rams, formerly of St. Louis, to Los Angeles. It’s a great read, one of those that ‘puts you in the room’ as the NFL owners negotiated and argued their way to a deal.
  • Through bold acquisitions and a striking series of investments in teams, players and properties, China has been making plenty of noise across the sports industry in recent times. Professor Simon Chadwick, now of Salford University’s Sports Business Centre, knitted together some of the big issues for this highly- readable primer in Newsweek.
  • Sticking with football, this is a very good, punchy piece from late last week by Simon Hughes of the Independent on the Liverpool FC ticket pricing mess, the club’s reaction and the role of chief executive Ian Ayre.
  • Sportcal’s Martin Ross picked up on something interesting this week, when Scottish football fans, denied live TV coverage of Scottish Cup replays thanks to Uefa rights restrictions, turned to Periscope. His write-up is well worth a read.
  • Formula One is slowly rolling back into life after the long, dark winter but even before the 2016 season begins the sport’s focus seems to be on 2017, when a major revision of the rules is scheduled. editor-in-chief Charles Bradley picked up on some recent comments by Sebastian Vettel and wrote this, pondering Formula One’s future.

That’s all for this week. Be back here at approximately the same time next week for more subject-specific reading material. In the meantime, do feel free to email, share and/or tweet.