Tumultuous times at the top of world sport and, with the Olympic Games less than 10 days away and the reverberations of the IOC’s decision not to impose a blanket ban on Russian athletes still registering on the controversy-ometer, there’s doubtless more to come. It’ll come as no surprise, then, that this week’s sports industry reading list is mostly Olympic-flavoured.
As usual, what follows is a mix of the best and most interesting sports business-related features, profiles, interviews and analysis – if sport’s your business, I’d politely suggest it’s well worth reading on.
This week’s sports industry must-reads
- Let’s begin with the IOC and Russia. You’ll have read many pieces already, of course, but on the off-chance you missed Nick Harris’ Sporting Intelligence story charting the Daily Mail’s investigation into Russian doping, here it is. It’s riveting.
- Keen to read an in-depth piece on the business behind Olympic medals? Course you are. A super detail-heavy feature here by Gary Meenaghan for The National.
- Everything Richard Williams writes is worth reading and his latest column for the Guardian is no exception. This piece, reflecting, four years later, on London 2012 and its legacy, is fairly damning, to say the least, and a great starting point for a hearty discussion.
- Richard Deitsch’s weekly sports media round-up is always essential reading and his latest edition features a fascinating round-table with half a dozen journalists heading to Rio 2016 – pretty much all the key issues are covered, from doping to to stress levels.
- Turning to Rio 2016, this is a superbly-written and lengthy examination of Rio de Janeiro on the eve of the Games by Dave Zirin for The Nation. A must-read.
- Guardian Cities, meanwhile, published this special report outlining the huge changes Rio has seen over the past seven years as it prepares for the Olympics – Jonathan Watts and Bruce Douglas also ponder who’ve been the winners and losers during the process.
- Few have as much of a stake in the Olympic Games as NBC, America’s Olympic broadcaster. Recode’s Ina Fried recently recorded an interesting podcast with Gary Zenkel, NBC’s Olympic president. And in case you’ve forgotten your headphones, there’s a transcript of some of the highlights included here too.
- .Away from the Olympics, we’re (unbelievably) just a week or two away from the start of the European football season. The Eight by Eight website published this excellent Simon Kuper profile of Roman Abramovich and how he’s run Chelsea.
- As the dust settles on the UFC’s acquisition by WME | IMG, is kickboxing poised to be the next big thing in the fightsports world? The Daily Telegraph’s Gareth A. Davies has taken a look. It’s well worth your time.
And there we have it, another reading list safely in the (virtual) books. As always, do let me know if it works for you via email – email@example.com – or on Twitter. And don’t forget to tell your friends/colleagues/clients/grandma about it.