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 or on Twitter, @DavidCushnan. Until next time.


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, 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 – or via Twitter.

This week’s sports industry reading list

A new year seems like a neat moment to resurrect the sports industry reading list, a guide to the most interesting and relevant writing on the global business of sport. Let’s see if we can make this a more regular thing in 2017. As with previous installments, what follows are pieces I’ve recently read, a combination of longform features, profiles, punchy opinions, blog posts and interviews. Hopefully it’s a handy little resource if sport is your industry, or you’re simply interested in peeling back the curtains to see how professional sport is organised and financed. And that’s really all you need to know: without further ado, to business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • Inevitably the past week or so has seen a glut of annual reviews (not to mention the obligatory ‘things to look out for in 2017′ pieces) across all sorts of different areas of sport but I’d recommend sparing the time to read Inside the Games’ senior reporter Nick Butler’s personal reflections on a fairly remarkable 12 months in sports politics.
  • eSports. The mere mention of it will either make you glaze over, shrug a slightly weary shrug or sit up bolt upright, visibly intrigued. Whatever your take, competitive gaming has become virtually – see what I did there – impossible for the sports industry to ignore. To ensure you’re up to speed for 2017, Joe Favorito and Maurice Eisenmann have pieced together this handy primer on eSports’ current challenges and talking points.
  • Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel went behind the scenes with the Ohio State and Clemson digital media teams ahead of the Fiesta Bowl, for this fascinating piece on the huge investments the major college football programmes are making in content and distribution – and what it means for recruitment.
  • A punchy piece here by Oliver Owen on the promising new Sport500 site – where each article is made up of no more than 500 words – as one or two murmurings emerge about the direction in which Formula One’s new owners might be looking to take the sport.
  • This is a tasty piece – sorry – by Rory Smith of the New York Times on Liverpool FC’s approach to nutrition, underlining, as if we needed it underlining, the levels of investment and attention to detail required at all the world’s major sports organisations.

That’s all for now. I’ll try to make these  as weekly as I can in 2017. In the meantime, all feedback is warmly received at – and you can find me on Twitter @DavidCushnan. Happy New Year.

This week’s sports industry reading list

In a week of new logos (this one and this one), it’s time for something that has quickly become a magnificent weekly tradition: the sports industry reading list, where I select the best sports business stories, profiles, columns, think-pieces and long-form features from the past week. You know what to do next. Scroll down, sit back and bathe in great writing on interesting topics. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads:

  • It was the Super Bowl on Sunday. (Spoiler alert: do not read on if you’ve recorded the game and don’t want to know who won). The Denver Broncos won. And another NFL season finished with all the razzmatazz we’ve come to expect from a league which thrives on hype. Written before the game and something I should have included last week was this terrific profile of the NFL, its commissioner and its owners – AKA ‘the Membership’ – by the New York Times’ Mark Leibovich.
  • There was an important milestone in PyeongChang’s preparations for the 2018 winter Olympic Games this week, with the first major test event – a men’s downhill World Cup race at the newly-constructed Jeongseon Alpine Centre. Alan Abrahamson was there and posted his authoritative verdict on his 3 Wire Sports blog.
  • And finally, a superbly detailed long read (superbly presented, too) by Milton C. Toby for Blood Horse about the disappearance of the legendary Shergar and the impact the mystery had on the Irish racing industry.

Thanks for reading and do return for the next instalment next week. Feedback welcome via and on Twitter: @DavidCushnan