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

Time for another sports industry reading list, my carefully selected picks of the best and most interesting writing on the global business of sport from the past seven days or so. As the year gets into swing, you’ll find the usual mix of profiles, interviews, longer features, viewpoints and analysis across all sorts of subjects, sports and markets. Whether sport is your business or you’re a fan interested in the mechanics of how sport is finances, organised and promoted, do let me know if you find it useful. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • Nobody knows if Ronda Rousey will fight again following her latest UFC defeat at the end of December, but, as this Guardian piece by Josh Gross points out, there is a structure and momentum around women’s mixed martial arts that looks set to ensure it thrive even in a post-Rousey world.
  • Bradford Bulls, one of rugby league’s great clubs, was liquidated his week following years of financial problems. BBC rugby league commentator Dave Woods put together this useful piece on the background to the story – and the RFL’s efforts, already well underway, to keep the sport in Bradford.
  • This piece doesn’t mention sport or sponsorship at all, but given Emirates is one of world sport’s biggest sponsors it’s well worth keeping tabs on the challenges the company faces. There are several and Matthew Campbell’s profile, for Bloomberg Businessweek, is certainly worth your time.
  • The arrival of 18 year old Lance Stroll is certain to be a talking point in Formula One this year. He brings talent and money to his new team, Williams, but his swift promotion has reignited the debate about pay drivers, the expense of Formula One and the structure of motorsport’s junior formulae. Renowned Formula One journalist Adam Cooper does an excellent job of tackling these issues in this Motorsport.com piece.
  • Sticking with motorsport (and as regular readers will know that’s something I tend to do as much as possible) I thought this, by David Nelson over on the F1 Broadcasting blog, was a very nice idea, well-executed: a review of the UK television coverage of a Grand Prix from 1995. Read in the era of Sky Sports’ blanket coverage from every nook and cranny of the paddock, it’s a reminder of how far sports broadcasting has come in a little over two decades.
  • Lots of talk this week about Chinese money in sport as we find ourselves smack bang in the middle of another Chinese Super League transfer window, but the China piece that caught my eye this week was this Daily Telegraph feature by Julian Bennetts charting the country’s growing interest and investment in rugby union.

Plenty to keep you going there over the next few days. In the meantime, if you’ve found it useful please do spread the word about this reading list to friends and colleagues. All feedback’s welcome via email – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or on Twitter: @davidcushnan. More next week.