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 – firstname.lastname@example.org – 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.
- A fascinating and in-depth interview here with Chubby Chandler, founder of the ISM agency, manager of a host of top golfers and one of the sport’s great characters, by SportsPro’s George Dudley.
- 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.
- An interesting review of Manchester United’s digital strategy here by sports lawyer Jake Cohen in the Independent (spoiler alert: the strategy is extensive).
- Rugby league’s World Club Challenge, held last weekend, pits the winners of the Super League against the NRL champions. Writing on the Guardian website, Gavin Willacy suggests it’s an event primed for further global expansion.
- I enjoyed this Yahoo Sports piece by Les Carpenter recounting the story of how New Orleans managed to keep hold of its NBA team (now the magnificently-named Pelicans) back in 2011 (good headline, too).
- 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.