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

Congratulations, sports industry aficionados, because you’ve stumbled across the sports industry reading list – a regular selection of the best, most interesting and most relevant pieces about the global business and politics of sport. I’m your curator and I’ve spent much of the past few days carefully scouring the web for the finest profiles, interviews, features, analysis and opinion, quite simply for your reading pleasure. Here are the results. To business.

This week’s sports industry must-reads

•  In the wake of the announcement that McDonald’s has terminated its Olympic sponsorship, and the IOC’s confirmation last week that Intel has joined the ranks of TOP partners, there has been plenty of, frankly, half-baked analysis from some who should know better. Thank goodness, then, for this eminently sensible assessment of the current status of Olympic sponsors and finances  from Inside the Games’ David Owen.

•  This is an illuminating oral history of NFL Europe, by ESPN’s Jon Gold, ten years after the National Football League called time on the project.

•  A piece well worth reading here by Nascar’s vice president of analytics and insights, Norris Scott, and published recently in the Journal of Digital and Social Media Marketing, examining sponsorship return on investment in what the cool kids are now calling an omni-channel world.

•  Igor Rabiner has written a lengthy but fascinating feature for The Blizzard charting the rise and fall and rise of AS Monaco, newly-crowned Ligue 1 champions and darlings of last season’s Champion’s League.

•  A typically incisive piece by Christopher Clarey for the New York Times on what the next chapter of the America’s Cup might look like, and the starkly differing philosophies of the two teams in contention to shape it, Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand.

•  Andrew Brandt’s latest Business of Football column for MMQB examines the tricky subject of ‘tanking’ and how long-term thinking can be the key to success for NFL franchises, even if it is at the expense of short-term gains.

•  New Formula One chief executive Chase Carey was on stage at the FIA’s Sport Conference in Geneva last week and he also recently gave James Allen an interview, published on the excellent James Allen on F1 blog, in which he considered the always-interesting subject of where the balance lies between sport and technology.

•  Sticking with motorsport, if you were looking for something on the business behind the Autopolis circuit in Japan – host of, among other things, the country’s popular Super GT category – then you’re luck’s in, thanks to Oscar Boyd and the Japan Times.

•   An interesting perspective, which may divide opinion, from Tod Meisner for Front Office Sports, on Snapchat and the sports industry.

This is a fun ‘behind-the-scenes of the broadcast’ piece (the best type of behind-the-scenes pieces) peeling back the curtain on British channel ITV’s coverage of Royal Ascot, by the Daily Telegraph’s Alan Tyers.

•  Manny Pacquiao fights Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane this coming weekend and I enjoyed this, by Grantlee Kieza of local newspaper the Courier Mail, on how and why it’s happening.

That’s this week’s recommended reading – do tune your web browser this way once again next week for more. In the meantime, all feedback’s welcome – you can get in touch via email (davidcushnan@gmail.com) or find me on Twitter, @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 davidcushnan@gmail.com 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 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, 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

Welcome along – and make no mistake, everyone’s welcome here – to the sports industry reading list, my weekly guide to the best and most interesting writing on the global business of sport. Whether sport’s your business or you’re just keen to know more about how it’s funded and organised, I’m almost certain you’ll find something below you’ll want to click on. As usual, there’s a mix of analysis, longer-form features, profiles and interviews selected from a variety of sources: newspapers websites, specialist sport sites and sports trade media publications to name a few. Those are my terms and conditions. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads:

  • As Formula One was ringing the executive changes, Nascar was confirming major format changes designed to ensure every part of every race has implications for the overall championship and to insert natural advertising breaks for broadcast networks Fox and NBC. Respected Nascar journalist Jeff Gluck’s piece, on his newly-launched blog, is well worth a read to get up to speed.
  • A superb history, put together by John Ourand and the team at Sports Business Journal, of one of the more controversial innovations in sports broadcasting: Fox’s short-lived NHL glowing puck.

As always, you can get in touch via email – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or on Twitter. I’ll be back here next week to point you in the direction of more reading material; hope you will be too.

 

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 davidcushnan@gmail.com or send me a tweet @DavidCushnan. See you back here next week.

This week’s sports industry reading list

It’s time for my latest pick of the best writing on the global business of sport – the profiles, features, columns and interviews that have caught my eye over the past few days. Welcome along – and don’t forget to share widely with your friends and colleagues; there’s something for everyone here (assuming, of course, you’re interested in what’s happening across the global sports industry). To business, then, and this week’s bumper selection of great sports business pieces:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • There’s been a great deal of talk recently of the growing power of Europe’s major football clubs amid the current power vacuum at Fifa and Uefa. Oliver Kay picked up the topic for his always-readable Saturday Times column this week; it’s a strong piece (nestled behind the paywall) on the slightly chilling prospect of a future European league closed to all but the elite teams.
  • Renowned US team owner Roger Penske is celebrating his 50th year in motorsport and Automobile Magazine produced this terrific retrospective on the career of a hugely successful businessman, who’s also won just about all there is to win in Indycar and Nascar.
  • This is a really excellent Sheffield Star interview, conducted by Sam Fletcher, with World Snooker’s commercial director Miles Pearce on the sport’s rise in China and the possibility of the World Championships one day relocated from its current home at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.
  • Reem Abulleil, covering the Australian Open for the UAE-based Sport360 newspaper, spoke to the tournament director Craig Tilley to get the lowdown on the commercial success of the first Grand Slam of the tennis year and an insight into Tennis Australia’s marketing strategy.

That’ll do it for this week. Do let me know if the reading lists are proving useful/interesting/a handy distraction, either via davidcushnan@gmail.com or on Twitter, where you’ll find me @DavidCushnan. Let’s reconvene here in a few days time.