This week’s sports industry reading list

Time for another sports industry reading list, my selection of the week’s most interesting, relevant and – whisper it – perhaps even useful pieces about the global business of sport. As per, below you’ll find the usual mix of interviews, profiles, long-form features, punchy analysis and opinion. What you won’t find this week is anything on the biggest sports money story of the week, Neymar’s record-shattering transfer from Barcelona to Paris (Qatari branch). Like you, I’ve read all sorts of ‘hot takes’ on what it all might mean for Barca, PSG, football in general and global geo-politics. And, if I’m honest, I’m a bit bored of it, so for this week at least this list is a Neymar-free zone. Don’t fret, though – there’s still plenty of fascinating subjects and pieces to get your teeth into. So let’s get to it. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

•  Los Angeles announced its candidacy for the 2028 summer Olympic Games last week, the next step in the somewhat tortuous procedure that will ultimately see the 2024 and 2028 Games hosts officially confirmed in September. But to all intents and purposes it’s done, and in a big week for the Olympics – and in the odd circumstances of being at the start of an 11 year countdown – here’s a view from LA, by the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke.

•  The Championship – for the uninitiated, that’s English football’s second tier – began on Friday and I’ve developed a small theory that, at least on the business side of things, it’s a far more interesting place than the Premier League this season. There’s big clubs, new and interesting owners, plenty of peril and lots and lots of ambition. In an attempt to convince you, here are three eve-of-season pieces well worth your time: The Telegraph’s Sam Wallace sat down with Leeds United’s new owner, Andrea Radrizzani to hear his plans to rebuild the club; Rory Smith’s latest missive for the New York Times saw him examine the curious new ownership of Wolverhampton Wanderers and the links to so-called super agent Jorge Mendes; and Dan McLaren’s latest Digital Sport Insider Podcast episode was a fascinating conversation with Middlesbrough’s Head of Digital and Marketing Development, Bob Tait.

•  A column well worth reading here by the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg on his experience at last week’s Citi Open ATP World Tour event in the city – I think it’s a comment on what seems to be some odd scheduling (and the weather), but you’re probably best served by reading it and draw your own conclusions.

•  This is a very good piece, by Adam Elder and published by the Guardian, on the motivations behind the recent spate of footballer investments in American soccer clubs – and why entering at Major League Soccer level isn’t necessarily the be-all and end-all.

•  In the week when it dipped another of its seemingly infinite number of toes into the world of sports rights, acquiring the ATP World Tour rights for its Prime service, this is a must-read piece by Wired’s Liat Clark outlining how Amazon intends to basically take over the world.

•  Last week this reading list recommended a piece on the downturn of LeEco’s fortunes. This week, it’s the turn of another big Chinese investor in sport, as the New York Times’ Keith Bradsher chronicles the problems facing Wanda.

•  Slightly late to this but, with the World Athletics Championships well underway, it’s still very relevant: Inside the Games’ Duncan Mackay expertly tells the compelling story of the long road travelled by London on the way to staging track and field’s showpiece standalone event.

•  And last but by no means least this week, Sports Business Journal executive editor Abraham D. Madkour caught up with sports business veteran Tony Ponturo, who made his name at the helm of Anheuser-Busch’s vast sports sponsorship portfolio and still has plenty of fingers in sports industry-flavoured pies.

That’s your lot for this week. As always, should you feel the need to drop me a line you can do so via email – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or on Twitter – @DavidCushnan. Until next time.

 

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This week’s sports industry reading list

Hello there, sports business operatives/middle managers/executives/interested observers, and the warmest of welcomes to the latest sports industry reading list. This is my selection of the most interesting, relevant and perhaps even useful pieces on the global business of sport from the past week or so – an eclectic mix, as you’ll discover, of profiles, interviews, long-form features, opinion and analysis. Don’t forget to share the word about this list with industry friends, colleagues and the rest of your ‘network’, if you like what you see below. Right, let’s get this underway. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

•  Every once in a while a piece like this pops up, which takes a country, in this case South Korea, and a sport you wouldn’t particularly associate with it, in this case horse racing. This, by Henry Young and Aly Vance for CNN, on a burgeoning racing industry is fascinating.

•  The World Athletics Championships begin in London this coming Friday and the Guardian’s Martha Kelner sat down with Niels de Vos, chief executive of both UK Athletics and London 2017, for a status report as the final preparations happen.

•  MP & Silva’s enormous bid for Major League Soccer’s global media rights came to light last week. Deadspin’s Billy Haisley expertly broke down what we know and what it might mean.

•  This is a superb piece by Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo, telling the story of the NBA’s first excursion to Russia back in 1988 when the Atlanta Hawks played three exhibition games in the USSR.

•  A piece here, by Engadget’s Cherlynn Low, that touches only briefly on sport but provides some important detail on the difficulties facing LeEco, one of the big spenders on sports rights in China over the past few years.

•  I listened to a very good podcast last week, which featured The Ringer’s Bill Simmons interviewing former Ticketmaster chief executive Nathan Hubbard. Turns out so did Michael Broughton, who followed up with this fascinating piece musing on the threat the ‘sharing economy’ might pose to the sports business.

•  It was five years last week since that fabulous evening in the Olympic Stadium when London 2012 began. Unsurprisingly there were a glut of pieces this week reflecting on the Games and its legacy, but two stuck out to me. The first is this terrific Guardian Cities piece, by Tim Burrows, on the physical and social legacies of the Olympic Park in east London. The second, by Synergy’s Tim Crow writing for Campaign Magazine, examines the post-Olympic UK sports sponsorship landscape.

•  An authoritative and illuminating New York Times profile, here, of Charlie Stillitano, the man behind many of the mega-friendlies we’re currently enjoying (or, if you prefer enduring) before the European season gets underway in a few weeks. It’s written by Kevin Draper.

•  And finally, I’ve very much enjoyed Alan Abrahamson’s dispatches from the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest on his 3 Wire Sports site this past week. In particular, this piece, discussing the relevance of Olympic sports like swimming in an era of sports-entertainment mash-ups such as Michael Phelps racing a shark, provides plenty of food for thought.

Those, then, are my sports industry must-reads for this week. Hopefully you’ll find something interesting, useful or just a bit thought provoking among them. As always, all feedback is welcome – you can reach me 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

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

  • 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.
  • 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 – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or on Twitter. And don’t forget to tell your friends/colleagues/clients/grandma about it.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Thanks for stopping by – or stumbling across – the sports industry reading list, your one-stop, hopefully handy guide to the best, most interesting and most useful recent writing about the global business of sport. As usual, I’ve selected a mix of interviews, profiles and analysis from a variety of sources – newspaper websites, specialist sport outlets and the sports industry trade press. Ready? Set? To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • The Olympic Games are but a month away. Like many, NBC have been preparing for Rio 2016 for years and this Ad Week interview with Jon Miller, NBC Olympics’ chief marketing officer, is a useful guide to the network’s promotional plans for the next few weeks. A.J. Katz asks the questions.
  • Kevin Durant’s announcement (made, as is the way in the modern world, via Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune website) that he’s joining the Golden State Warriors has understandably made waves. This interesting Sports Techie analysis of the motives behind the move posits the theory that the draw of Silicon Valley was magnetic.
  • Fitting neatly into this list’s occasional ‘not directly sports business-related but perhaps relevant for anyone whose business is sport’ category, here’s a fascinating piece from The Drum on The Pool, an online outlet aimed at professional women. Katie McQuater’s piece is well worth your time, especially if content creation’s your game (which it almost certainly is).
  • And a ‘sports industry must-listen’ to round things off. Adam Parsons’ Wake Up to Money programme on BBC Radio 5 Live has spawned a sports business spin-off – and an accompanying podcast. The first edition features, amongst others, British Olympic Association chief executive Bill Sweeney.

As always, all feedback is welcome. You can get in touch by emailing davidcushnan@gmail.com or on Twitter, @DavidCushnan.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Time for another sports industry reading list, my handpicked selection of the best recent online content relating to the global business of sport. As usual, you’ll find below a mix of pieces from newspaper websites, dedicated sports business publications, blogs and sport-specific websites – and as usual the list includes profiles, features, analysis and, this week, even a couple of audio treats. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • Just before last week’s decision by the IAAF to uphold the suspension of Russia’s track and field athletes, the Guardian’s Owen Gibson published this excellent profile of Lord Sebastian Coe and the daunting challenge of what Coe insists is his final major role in sport.

All feedback on what you’ve read or what you’re about to read is, as ever, welcome, either via email – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or on Twitter or LinkedIn. Until next time.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Hi there, sports business enthusiasts and welcome to another dose of the sports industry reading list (it really is medicinal), your handy guide to what you ought to be reading if sport is your business. This is the first one of these for a couple of weeks so there’s pieces below from the last fortnight or so – and as usual, you’ll find a mix of profiles, interviews, columns and features. You know the drill. To business.

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • Last week’s SportAccord Convention in Lausanne was, as ever, a chance for some high-level international sports chit-chat. It’s a place where the world’s sports federations, and associated hangers-on, congregate to see which way the wind is blowing in global sports politics. A couple of related recommendations: James Emmett, microphone in hand, was busy pacing the hall searching out the bigwigs from all four 2024 Olympic bidders for a couple of excellent SportsPro podcasts. And Inside the Games’ Nick Butler penned this terrific summary of where the SportAccord organisation lies after a tumultuous year and now the election of a new president.
  • In the week when the Olympic capital hosted the world of sport, this piece by Rebecca Ruiz for the New York Times on the city, its position as home to many an international sports organisation and how it is tightening up its regulation of them was certainly timely.
  • Last week marked the 25th anniversary of Sky Sports. The innovator has become the establishment in an ever-changing media environment, and here’s an interesting interview with Barney Francis, Sky Sports’ managing director, conducted by the Daily Telegraph’s Ben Rumsby.

As always, you can reach me via email: davidcushnan@gmail.com or on Twitter. And a mention, a share or a recommendation is always much appreciated. Until next time.

 

 

This week’s sports industry reading list

This is the sports industry reading list, your weekly (or thereabouts) guide to what you ought to be reading if your business is sport or you’re simply interested in how sport is organised, funded and governed around the world. As always, there’ll be a mix of profiles, features, interviews, opinion pieces and the occasional audio treat from a wide range of sources including newspapers, specialist websites, sports industry trade publications and social platforms like LinkedIn and Medium. Sounds good, right? That’s the intro. Now, to business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • Sport, ultimately, is an events business and that’s underlined brilliantly in this extended, superbly illustrated multimedia feature on the official Juventus club website. This guide to the scale and complexity of a regular matchday at Juventus Stadium is packed full of interesting nuggets and well worth your time; it’s exactly what major sports teams should be doing more of.
  • A useful and timely piece here from Daniel Johnson of the Daily Telegraph on the most powerful man in Formula One, Donald Mackenzie, as his CVC Capital Partners celebrates (and I’m not sure that’s the right word at all) ten years of ownership.
  • Sticking with Formula One, if you have a spare hour or so you could do worse than listening to this podcast, hosted by Motor Sport magazine’s Ed Foster, featuring Ross Brawn and Nick Fry reflecting on the remarkable 2009 season, which culminated with Jenson Button crowned as world champion. Fry and Brawn were part of the management buy-out of the Honda team and this is a great insight into how Brawn GP came to be.
  • It’s been a terribly sad few days for the world of professional cycling. Following the death of Antoine Demoitié, who was hit by a motorcycle covering the Gent-Wevelgem race on Saturday, this commentary, by Neal Rogers of Cycling Tips, is a personal reflection on events and an examination of what the implications might be for the sport and how it is broadcast.
  • Staying on the West Coast, here’s something worth reading on the NFL’s team that’s preparing to land there. Regular readers will know that I love a logistics piece: here’s MMQB’s Robert Klemko with the fascinating tale of how the Rams are actually relocating and preparing for a nomadic few seasons as they wait for Stan Kroenke’s gleaming new stadium to be built.
  • There’s no doubt that Dick Pound is currently one of world sport’s most influential figures, given his role as chairman of the independent WADA commission which revealed the extent of Russian doping in athletics and the failures of the sport’s governing body. Here’s a typically excellent profile of the Canadian, by the New York Times’ Christopher Clarey.
  • With Major League Baseball’s opening day approaching, there’s been a fair few pieces in recent days chronicling the disputes between regional sports networks and cable operators, and the creaking broadcast model behind them. Joe Flint and Matthew Futterman, writing in the Wall Street Journal, examined the battleground featuring the New York Yankees, the YES network which airs its games and Comcast, which has blacked them out in a payment dispute since November.

That’s your lot for this week. As ever, you can reach me at davidcushnan@gmail.com or on Twitter: @DavidCushnan. Be assured, though: you will not find me on Snapchat.

This week’s sports industry reading (and listening) list

Time for another list detailing what’s worth reading about the global business of sport (in my opinion, at least). This is the place for the best, most relevant most interesting profiles, columns, think-pieces, long form features and interviews relating to the sports industry – and this week it features a few audio sportsbiz treats as well. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • I tend to dip in and out of the Players Tribune, the site where athletes can bypass traditional media to tell their stories and make their voices heard authentically, but my eye was caught by this piece, penned by pro basketball player Sue Bird – a compelling read on the lack of data and analytics in women’s sport, and why that might be stifling its growth.
  • It was rather overshadowed by England’s Six Nations victory over Wales, but Premiership Rugby staged its first competitive match in the United States last week, as New York’s Red Bull Arena hosted London Irish against Saracens. Mail Online writer Rory Keane was there and sent back this diary of a historic week.
  • It’s March Madness, America’s college basketball tournament, and SportsPro’s Michael Long put together this excellent feature, written from a European standpoint, on the business behind the bracket.

This week’s sports industry must-listens

I understand completely. You’re busy, you’re on the move – the business of sport never stops and neither do you. You don’t always have time to read, but you’re still thirsty for sports industry information, intelligence and insight. You need podcasts, plural. You’re welcome.

That’s this week’s reading list. Do return for more next week. In the meantime, feel free to email: davidcushnan@gmail.com or tweet: @davidcushnan

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.