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

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

Hello friends, and welcome to another installment of my sports industry reading list – a guide to the best and most interesting writing on the global business of sport from the past week, featuring pieces plucked from other parts of the internet and dumped (curated) here. As usual, there’s a mix of features, interviews, analysis and financial reporting, sourced from newspaper websites, specialist sports sites, blogs and the like. It’s fun for all the family (if your family happens to be made up of members of the international sports sector). Anyway, let’s get going. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads:

  • Prior to the weekend’s events in Augusta, ESPN senior writer Jason Sobel sought the views of one Snoop Dogg on how golf might go about tapping into celebrity culture to attract new fans.
  • Simon Kuper’s argument, for ESPN.co.uk, that Real Madrid and FC Barcelona’s domination of European football will wane as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi fade from the limelight is, as you would expect, well worth your time.
  • A interesting reflection in the New York Times here, by public editor Liz Spayd, reflecting on the decisions made about what to cover – and how to cover it – in the newspaper’s sports pages.
  • And finally, if you’re still able to click the link while you’re wearing that stupid giant foam hand, this piece by Richard Gillis, for SportsPro, on passion for sport should be an industry set text.

Those are this week’s essential reads. Do feel free, as always, to drop me a line via email – davidcushnan@gmail.com or via Twitter.

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

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

  • 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.
  • 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 davidcushnan@gmail.com or on Twitter: @DavidCushnan. Until next time.

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.