This week’s sports industry reading list

We’re smack bang in the middle of another fabulous (northern hemisphere) summer of sport – Wimbledon’s been and gone, the magnificent Tour de France is concluding in Paris as I write, the Women’s World Cup is about to be lifted at a packed Lord’s, the best para-athletes in the world have been running, jumping and throwing in London for the last week and the Open Championship has underlined again why it’s one of my very favourite sporting events. But there’s a whole heap of business behind all that top-class sport, which is where this blog comes in: below you’ll find my selection of relevant and hopefully interesting pieces on the global sports industry – profiles, features, interviews and analysis. It’ll almost certainly make you more informed at your sports industry water cooler of choice, your next cocktail reception or riveting networking breakfast. Got the gist? Good. To business.

This week’s sports industry must-reads

•  This week in sports politics, FINA, the governing body of world aquatics, re-elected its 81-year old president Julio Maglione. But that’s really only a small sliver of the story. Alan Abrahamson was among those prowling the hotel lobby in Budapest this week, as the administrators of one of the Olympics’ most high-profile sports gathered ahead of the World Aquatics Championships, and has all the important context and analysis in this terrific piece. This, meanwhile, is a damning verdict on the sport’s governance and governors by Swim Vortex’s Craig Lord.

•  A major sports industry move last week as Sophie Goldschmidt, once of the RFU and latterly of the CSM agency, was appointed the new CEO of the World Surf League. SportsPro’s Michael Long bagged one of the first interviews with Goldschmidt following the announcement, in which she outlines her belief that surfing is poised for a significant global breakthrough.

•  Rumours abound that Porsche, fresh from yet another triumph at Le Mans, is poised to withdraw from the top category of sportscar racing, LMP1 – perhaps as soon as at the end of this season. Gary Watkins explains what’s going on – and examines the modern considerations a car manufacturer must make when deciding on its motorsport strategy – in this excellent piece of analysis for Motor Sport.

•  Sports leagues moving beyond their traditional geographical boundaries, in the quest for more money and new fans, is an ongoing industry trend. Last week came reports of one of the most unexpected expansions yet, with rugby union’s Pro 12 league – currently featuring teams from Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy – set to include two South African franchises from next season. The BBC’s Tom English expertly fills in the blanks in this must-read piece.

•  In a somewhat similar vein, some interesting comment here from Richard Scudamore, executive chairman of the Premier League, on the prospect of one day playing competitive games outside the UK. It’s an idea he’s floated before, of course, but he returned to the theme in conversation with a group of journalists including the South China Morning Post’s James Porteous last week in Hong Kong, where the league has been staging its pre-season Asia Trophy,

•  Here’s Sportcal’s Martin Ross with a personal view well worth reading on Uefa’s growing desire to put live Champions League games behind a paywall in its major markets.

•  A fascinating read on a slightly uncomfortable subject here by Bloomberg Businessweek’s Lauren Coleman-Lochner, and one with plenty of relevance to sport: the marketing rights of dead celebrities.

•  This is an excellent piece, by Emre Sarigul for the Guardian, on Turkish football club Besiktas’ recent progress on and off the field – and the Istanbul club’s plans to look beyond Turkish borders in the same way as other European football heavyweights.

•  In this piece, reprinted on the Sports Illustrated website this week after featuring in a recent edition of the magazine, Jacob Feldman asks what cricket and its introduction of the Twenty20 format can teach American sports currently hesitating over whether to tweak their own rules for the modern world.

•  A very good Washington Post piece here, by Tim Bontemps, on the NBA’s efforts to ‘own’ July, traditionally the slowest month for America’s major leagues. You will not be surprised, given the way everything the NBA touches appears to turn to gold, to hear that those efforts have been effective.

That’s your lot for this week – thanks, as always, for reading and don’t forget to share the existence of this blog with friends and colleagues; you know it makes sense. You can get in touch, for any reason, via email – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or 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

This, as the headlines rather hints at, is the sports industry reading list, my weekly guide to the best, most interesting and most relevant writing on the global business of sport. Whether you’re working in sport or are simply interested in how it’s organised and funded, you’ll hopefully find something of interest below. As usual, the list contains a combination of profiles, long-form features, pin-sharp analysis and interviews with industry grand fromages. Let’s get to it. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

•  It’s been a few weeks since heavyweight boxing’s big night at Wembley Stadium, but SportsPro editor Eoin Connolly has been beavering away to produce this, perhaps the definitive behind-the-scenes account of Joshua-Klitschko.

•  A big couple of weeks in the golf equipment business, with TaylorMade’s announcement it had signed a megabucks deal with Rory McIlroy swiftly followed by confirmation the company has been sold to KPS Capital Partners. Golf.com’s Alana Johnson sat down with TaylorMade chief executive David Abeles on the why, what and how.

•  As the IOC extends its long-term partnership with watch brand Omega, a marvellous slice of Olympic sponsorship history here from Inside the Games’ David Owen.

•  One for broadcast production fans: Sportcal’s Martin Ross draws back the curtain and takes a peek inside Infront Sports & Media’s impressive digital operation at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships.

•  This is a really fascinating piece, by Nieman’s Joseph Lichterman, on tennis journalism and how Racquet magazine, a quarterly publication, is staking a claim to be the sport’s independent voice.

•  In the wake of the mild furore created when Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward told investors last week the club plans to “aggressively” market its in-house TV channel, MUTV, The Drum’s Tony Connolly examines the football club as media company and the real aim: data collection.

•  A fascinating deep-dive here by Motorsport.com’s Jonathan Noble explaining how a former Formula One team owner is the man behind the launch of Formula One’s latest fan-friendly initiative.

•  Shabab Hossain of Tech Exec shares the highlights of Atlanta Hawks’ chief creative officer Peter Sorckoff’s presentation on rebranding the NBA franchise, from the recent CMO Disrupt event in Melbourne.

•  Richard Williams is well worth reading on just about anything. His latest Guardian column is Olympic-focused and makes a compelling case for Paris 2024.

Many thanks, as always, for reading and (as I’m sure you’re about to) sharing far and wide. Feel free to drop me a line via email – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or on Twitter. 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 along to the latest edition of my sports industry reading list, a guide to the pick of recent writing on the global business of sport. This edition features pieces from the last couple of weeks; as usual, there’s a mix of interviews, analysis, profiles, longer-form features and opinion from across the world wide web, published by newspapers, magazines, specialist sport websites and the sports trade media. You get the gist, I’m sure. Time to get to the good stuff. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

•  The Financial Times’ Frankfurt correspondent James Shotter examines the relentless and controversial rise of RB Leipzig, the Red Bull-owned Bundesliga team which has just qualified for next season’s Champions League.

•  Last week marked the 23rd anniversary of the death of the great Ayrton Senna. This is an fascinating BBC piece, written by South American business correspondent Daniel Gallas, looking at the business of Senna in 2017 and the social impact his name – his brand – continues to have in Brazil.

•  Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein draws back the curtain on NBC’s promotional preparation for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games, which take place next February.

•  Sticking with the Olympics, the International Olympic Committee’s evaluation commission are heading to Los Angeles this week. Sportcal’s Jon Rest has produced this handy guide to the strengths and potential weaknesses of the American bid for the 2024 Games.

•  If you’re able to navigate the paywall, do make time for this piece on the growing concept of Premier League football tourism and the Premier League by the Times’ Alyson Rudd.

•  A well-argued piece by Anya Alvarez in the Guardian on the LPGA’s (daft) decision to use a Twitter poll to determine which of four professional golfers should gain a sponsor’s exemption slot at an upcoming tournament.

•  A piece from a few weeks ago that’s well worth your time: Redef’s Mike Vorkunov investigates the Philadelphia 76er’s move into the world of VC and the launch of its ‘Innovation Lab’.

•  SportBusiness Journal’s executive editor Abe Madkour put together this useful wrap-up of the main talking points from this year’s CAA World Congress of Sport.

•  And finally, one to place in the not-strictly-about-the-sports-industry-but-potentially-relevant-nonetheless file, from the pen of Mark Weinberger and published on the World Economic Forum website. Does the rise of virtual and augmented reality signal the beginning of the end for smartphones and TV?

That’s your reading sorted for this week. Do pop back next week for another list and in the meantime, should you feel inclined I can be reached at davidcushnan@gmail.com or on Twitter, @DavidCushnan. Until next time.

This week’s sports industry reading list

It’s been another substantial week of sports industry news and events, with more to come in the next seven days (and, incidentally, if you do happen to find yourself with a reading list-sized gap on your table for Thursday’s Sport Industry Awards – and a plus one, naturally – then I might just be able to help solve that pickle for you…). In this breathless, every-second’s-a-deadline industry, it can sometimes be tricky to keep up with the big issues, the movements of the major players and the essential talking points. That’s where this reading list comes in. It’s a gentle stroll through the best and most interesting recent writing on the global business of sport – hand-selected pieces from across the world wide web, available on one handy page. I think you’ve got the gist – so let’s dive in. To business.

It’s tucked behind Autosport’s paywall, but do find a way to read this revealing interview with Bernie Ecclestone, who returned to the Formula One paddock last weekend in Bahrain, by Dieter Rencken.

The views of another sports industry veteran, here, as David Stern, commissioner of the NBA until 2014, sits down for a chat with Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press.

MMQB’s Peter King delves into exactly how the NFL 2017 season schedule was created, lifting the lid on a fascinating and secretive process.

Plenty of interesting perspective here from the legendary Michael Johnson, talking to Sportcal’s Callum Murray about athletics’ past, present and future.

must-read but frankly dispiriting piece in the Observer by Jamil Chade, charting the stench of corruption which has come to surround Brazil’s hosting of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

Since Durban was stripped of the hosting rights to the 2022 Commonwealth Games a few weeks ago, several cities have expressed interest in stepping in. Duncan Mackay’s latest piece – an excellent one – for Inside the Games ponders this intriguing development and wonders if the International Olympic Committee ought to be taking a leaf out of the Commonwealth Games Federation’s (bid) book.

Oliver Holt’s latest Mail on Sunday column examines the perception of a growing North-South divide in English football and the recent suggestions that clubs based in the North may look to open training bases in the South, in a bid to attract playing talent.

And finally, Dom Curran, chief executive of Synergy’s US operation, is given space on SportsPro’s website to consider the prospects for Formula One in the United States following Liberty’s acquisition.

That’s this week’s essential reading. Don’t forget to share widely with clients and colleagues across the industry – and, as always, feedback and thoughts are welcome at davidcushnan@gmail.com or on Twitter: @DavidCushnan. 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 davidcushnan@gmail.com or on Twitter: @DavidCushnan. 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

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.

 

 

This week’s sports industry reading list

Immediately post-Olympics is one of those moments when the business of sport temporarily becomes a topic of mainstream interest and coverage: How much is this gold medalist now worth? Just how big (or otherwise) were those TV ratings? How much did the Games really cost Rio? And how much money does the silly swimmer from America actually stand to lose? The results are not always pretty (or accurate). Fear not, though, sports industry expert, because this blog has attempted over the last couple of weeks to be even more selective than usual  over in choosing only pieces of the highest quality. So here goes: as usual, what you’ll see below is a mix of work published by newspapers, online publishers, the sports business trade press and specialist sports outlets. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • Profiles of ESPN captain John Skipper are not uncommon but they’re mostly well worth reading, particularly at a time when the self-styled ‘Worldwide Leader in Sports’ is grappling with the big challenges of media fragmentation and changing consumption habits. This, by Rick Maese of the Washington Post, paints a fascinating picture of one of sport’s most powerful executives.
  • In the age where great storytelling and good content, distributed effectively, are seen as the keys to unlocking greater value for rights holders and brands across sport, I thought this was a particularly interesting and relevant piece – Joseph Lichterman, writing for Nieman Lab, looks at the strategy being employed by one Mexican sports media outlet.

That’s all for now. More soon. In the meantime, feel free to get in touch either via email – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or on Twitter.