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
- Published on the eve of what turned out to be a remarkable evening at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, this is a fascinating long read by the Telegraph’s Jonathan Liew examines FC Barcelona’s status as one of the elite band of football superclubs.
- 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.
- With the Golden Knights up and running, UFC making a long-term commitment and perhaps an NFL team waiting in the wings, SportPro’s Michael Long – a man going on a world tour so you don’t have to – reports from Las Vegas on the city’s new status as a home to professional sport.
- Written before England’s demolition of Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday, this is an excellent interview with Dominic McKay, chief operating officer of the Scottish Rugby Union, by The Scotsman’s Emma Newlands.
- With multiple Olympic bids failing to go the distance and Durban set to lose the 2022 Commonwealth Games, here’s a timely and punchy piece by industry veteran/legend Nigel Rushman, posted to his Medium account, calling for fundamental changes to the way major sports events are run. It’s a must-read.
- The new Indycar season began on Sunday in Florida. In the days leading up to the first race, the New York Times published this look at the health of the series and its apparently positive growth curve. It’s written by Dave Caldwell and well worth your time.
- From SportBusiness International, an interesting account of Super Bowl 51 from a fan perspective by fan engagement expert (guru?) Blair Hughes.
- One from the Guardian’s often-excellent Long Read section: Marisa Meltzer considers athleisure, in particular the differing philosophies of two of the main players in a growing market, Patagonia and The North Face.
- 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 email@example.com or on Twitter: @DavidCushnan. Until next time.