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

Hello, global sports industry and welcome to my sports industry reading list, a handpicked (clicked?) selection of the pieces you really ought to be reading this week if you work in sport, or simply want to know more about the business behind it. As you’ll be all too aware if you’re a regular reader, what follows below includes profiles, interviews, features, analysis and opinion from all corners of the internet – newspaper websites to specialist sports platforms, the trade media and other blogs. Those are the terms and conditions: let’s get to this week’s essential reading. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

•  Few men have had as much influence over the way we watch sport on TV than David Hill. The former Fox executive offers his latest bets for the future of sports broadcasting to John Ourand in this fascinating Sports Business Journal piece.

•  In a week of some note for the Olympics (a step closer to awarding the 2024 and 2028 Games simultaneously and the launch of the Olympic Channel in the United States), Phil Hersch, on his Globetrotter blog, phoned up Peter Ueberroth, architect of the event the last time Los Angeles played host to the Games 33 years ago, and “gave him the chance to gloat”.

•  And speaking of the launch of the American version of the Olympic Channel (or to give it its full title, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA), here’s the story of how it came to be and what it’s intended to be, explained with typical style by Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch.

•  I once interviewed Agustin Pichot and he is undoubtedly one of the most impressive athlete-turned-administrators I’ve encountered. The vice chairman of World Rugby’s thoughts on the future of his sport, as told to the Daily Telegraph’s Daniel Schofield, are well worth reading.

•  This Chuck Blazer obituary, written by the Guardian’s Michael Carlson, following the football administrator’s death last week, is a reminder of an influential and controversial life.

•  The football transfer window, as you can’t fail to have noticed (the draft is, frankly, unavoidable), wide open. I enjoyed this Independent piece, by lawyer and prominent tweeter Jake Cohen, which cuts through the flim-flam to reveal the realities of a major transfer.

• Maybe – maybe – the most interesting transfer of the summer in the Premier League is the appointment of journalist Tony Barrett as the head of club and supporter liaison. Barrett sat down with the Liverpool Echo’s Andy Kelly to explain his new role and his plans for shaping it.

•  It’s been a year since WME-IMG acquired the Ultimate Fighting Championship. ESPN’s expert-in-chief Darren Rovell has been avidly reporting and tweeting about the organisation’s highs and lows throughout that period: his first year business report card is worth your time.

•  A fascinating long-read here, pulled together expertly by Mark J. Burns for Forbes, on the rise and rise of sports/popular culture/lifestyle digital platform Barstool Sports.

•  Blink (over a 24 hour period) and you’d have missed it, but I posted my first Instagram Stories content this week. Turns out I’m not the only one, as this Digiday UK piece by Lucia Moses, reflecting the rise of Instagram and (perhaps) the decline of Snapchat, underlines.

So that’s your lot for this week, but if you think I’ve missed something or have any other feedback do let me know – either via email, davidcushnan@gmail.com, or on Twitter, where I can be found @DavidCushnan. Until next time.

 

 

 

 

This week’s sports industry reading list

As the famous old song goes, ‘there’s no business like spo(rts) business’ – so with that in mind welcome along to my sports industry reading list, a weekly guide to the best and most interesting writing on the global business of sport. As usual, there’s a mix of interviews, features and analysis below, all on the subject of how sport is being organised and funded – from the biggest issues to the often-fascinating minor detail. Whether you’re a regular reader or a welcome newcomer, a share or a like is always appreciated. Feel free to get in touch via Twitter – @DavidCushnan – or via email. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • Barry Hearn and his son Eddie are always good value, as the Guardian’s Donald McRae discovered when he sat down with both of them on the eve of the World Snooker Championship and this month’s Joshua-Klitschko heavyweight world title fight.
  • Not quite from last week, but for anyone interested in eSports, the video games industry or even Liverpool Football Club this is a superb in-depth interview with Peter Moore, as he leaves Electronic Arts for the chief executive job at Anfield, by Glixel’s John Davison.

As always, thanks for reading. 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

Now that Tom Brady/Lady Gaga have sorted out the Super Bowl, the way’s clear for the main event of the week: this sports industry reading list. Regular visitors to this part of the internet will know that below is my pick of the best and most interesting/useful/mission critical writing about the global business of sport, carefully collated over the past few days. As usual you’ll find a combination of interviews, analysis, opinion pieces, longer-form features and profiles. Intro completed, let’s get going. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • The best Super Bowl ever was preceded by the usual week of hype, parties, celebrity appearances, fan experiences, business seminars and no little glad-handing in the host city, Houston. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s annual pre-game press conference always provides plenty of talking points and this recap from last week by The Score’s Michael McClymont, is especially handy for those of us an ocean away from the day-to-day business and politics of the league.
  • SportsPro’s Michael Long went to Manila to see the success of ONE Championship, the Asian mixed martial arts property, for himself. What’s not to like? (Note: this piece also includes the best description of one man breaking another’s nose you’re likely to read all week.)

Thanks for reading, as always. Drop me a digital line or two if the mood takes you, at davidcushnan@gmail.com, or click here to find my Twitter account. Until next time.

 

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.