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.

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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

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

As the famous old song goes, ‘there’s no business like spo(rts) business’ – so with that in mind welcome along to my sports industry reading list, a weekly guide to the best and most interesting writing on the global business of sport. As usual, there’s a mix of interviews, features and analysis below, all on the subject of how sport is being organised and funded – from the biggest issues to the often-fascinating minor detail. Whether you’re a regular reader or a welcome newcomer, a share or a like is always appreciated. Feel free to get in touch via Twitter – @DavidCushnan – or via email. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • Barry Hearn and his son Eddie are always good value, as the Guardian’s Donald McRae discovered when he sat down with both of them on the eve of the World Snooker Championship and this month’s Joshua-Klitschko heavyweight world title fight.
  • Not quite from last week, but for anyone interested in eSports, the video games industry or even Liverpool Football Club this is a superb in-depth interview with Peter Moore, as he leaves Electronic Arts for the chief executive job at Anfield, by Glixel’s John Davison.

As always, thanks for reading. Until next time.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Here comes another sports industry reading list, brought to you by [INSERT YOUR COMPANY’S NAME HERE – analytics available on request]. This is where I summarise the best of the week’s writing on the global business of sport, from sponsorship to media rights, politics to marketing and lots in between – anything, indeed, that I think might be even halfway relevant for someone working in the industry or just keen to dig into how sport is organised and funded. It’s been a busy week – it was great to bump in to one or two reading list superfans at SportsPro Live in London on Wednesday and Thursday – and there’s a bumper selection below, so let’s crack on. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads:

  • In a week in which the England & Wales Cricket Board added some more meat to the bones of its plan to launch a city-based Twenty20 tournament, this fascinating in-depth piece by David Hopps for ESPN CricInfo examines an uncertain future for one of England’s great cricketing counties, Yorkshire.
  • The NFL has confirmed that the Oakland Raiders are to move to Las Vegas. There’s been a slew of interesting pieces since Monday’s vote by the league’s owners, not least this, from ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, which suggests that this may be the relocation that ends the NFL’s multi-billion dollar era of new stadiums.
  • SportBusiness International editor Ben Cronin sat down with IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe at the recent Leaders conference in New York. Plenty to discuss, as you’d expect; this is a piece well worth your time.

That’s this week’s reading list: standby for more next week, and in the meantime do feel free to drop me a line – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or share widely on Twitter. 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

Now that Tom Brady/Lady Gaga have sorted out the Super Bowl, the way’s clear for the main event of the week: this sports industry reading list. Regular visitors to this part of the internet will know that below is my pick of the best and most interesting/useful/mission critical writing about the global business of sport, carefully collated over the past few days. As usual you’ll find a combination of interviews, analysis, opinion pieces, longer-form features and profiles. Intro completed, let’s get going. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • The best Super Bowl ever was preceded by the usual week of hype, parties, celebrity appearances, fan experiences, business seminars and no little glad-handing in the host city, Houston. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s annual pre-game press conference always provides plenty of talking points and this recap from last week by The Score’s Michael McClymont, is especially handy for those of us an ocean away from the day-to-day business and politics of the league.
  • SportsPro’s Michael Long went to Manila to see the success of ONE Championship, the Asian mixed martial arts property, for himself. What’s not to like? (Note: this piece also includes the best description of one man breaking another’s nose you’re likely to read all week.)

Thanks for reading, as always. Drop me a digital line or two if the mood takes you, at davidcushnan@gmail.com, or click here to find my Twitter account. 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 davidcushnan@gmail.com 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

Welcome to the latest edition of the sports industry reading list, my regular handpicked selection of the most interesting, relevant writing on the global business of sport. As usual, the list includes profiles, interviews, features and analysis from a range of online publishers – newspapers, magazines, specialist sport sites, the sports industry trade media and blogs. Those are, loosely speaking, the rules so let’s get started. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • The NFL regular season begins on Thursday and it’s a decade since Roger Goodell was appointed commissioner. His tenure has not been without significant controversy but he has also presided over a period of sustained growth for the league. The Associated Press has put together these two excellent summaries – here’s Barry Wilner on Goodell’s reign to date and the future challenges he faces.
  •  We’re fast-approaching conference season in the UK sports industry and connectivity, linked to enhancing the fan experience, will again inevitably be a central theme. On the eve of the new NFL season TechRepublic’s Teena Maddox delivered this fascinating long read – including plenty of interesting facts and figures – on how the league’s stadiums are being prepared for the online age.
  • eSports will also be high on the agenda at a number of conferences over the next few weeks – the sports industry seems utterly beguiled – and Leaders, now under the editorial command of James Emmett, has produced a refreshing take on a sportsport? – growing in prominence but not without sizeable challenges.
  • The Paralympic Games begin on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro and Jacob Steinberg has written a superb scene-setter for the Guardian, with the background on the troubled build-up and the hope that, ultimately, it’ll be the sport that makes the headlines.
  • Tumultuous times in Formula One, with speculation swirling around the Monza paddock (and then, some time later, the internet) that  a buyout of the sport is imminent. At times like these, Joe Saward’s post-race notebook, over on his blog, is essential reading. Here’s his punchy Italian Grand Prix edition from Monday morning.
  • The US Open looks a bit different this year, with all sorts of improvements designed to improve the spectator experience. The New York Times’ Sarah Lyall examined the on-site changes last week, speaking to fans, players and executives for this excellent piece.
  • And finally, slotting into our popular ‘not-directly-about-the-sportsbiz-but-nonetheless-quite-interesting-and-pretty-relevant’ section, the Boston Globe’s Ty Burr provides a reminder that it’s not just sport that’s facing the challenge of a fragmenting media world and intense competition for eyeballs.

As always, all feedback’s welcome on Twitter – @DavidCushnan – or via email: davidcushnan@gmail.com

Until next time.

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.