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 – – or on Twitter – @DavidCushnan. Until next time.



This week’s sports industry reading list

This is the sports industry reading list, your relatively regular guide to what to read if sport is your business, or you’re simply keen to know more about the way global sport is financed and organised. As usual, there’s a real mix featured below: interviews, analysis, profiles, long-form pieces and five-minute reads, sourced from across the world wide web – from newspaper sites to specialist sport platforms, the industry trade media to personal blogs. With that, you’re fully up to speed so let’s get cracking with a selection of pieces from the past couple of weeks. To business:

•  To begin, a couple of pieces published immediately before the start of Wimbledon last week: Sean Ingle in the Guardian produced this superb piece on how the All England Club is moving with the times, while the Mail on Sunday’s Nick Harris told the remarkable tale of Sir David Attenborough’s pivotal role in tennis history.

•  After 37 years, multiple world titles and no little controversy, Ron Dennis has finally severed ties with McLaren – the racing team he built into a multi-faceted technology group. The BBC’s Andrew Benson put together this must-read piece on one of the most significant figures in Formula One history.

•  As if to underline the transition from old McLaren to new McLaren, here’s an interesting LinkedIn post, authored by the team’s executive director Zak Brown, outlining Formula One’s Asian opportunity.

•  Sticking with motorsport, Jeff Gluck, writing on his eponymous blog, has expertly delved into the complex world of Nascar’s merchandising operation.

•  The latest in Callum Murray’s excellent series of interviews with sports industry heavyweights sees him sit down with Michael Payne, the former International Olympic Committee marketing director-turned-adviser to various bids, federations, properties and brands.

•  The Tour de France is moving into its second week, with rights-holding broadcasters now being offered live coverage of every second of every stage. The superb Inner Ring blog examines the French TV landscape to explain why.

•  The debate over how elite sport is funded in the UK rumbled on and I thought this, an open letter from former badminton player Gail Emms to new UK Sport chair Katherine Grainger, was a particularly noteworthy recent contribution.

•  Canada celebrated its 150th anniversary a week or so ago and to mark the occasion Sportsnet’s Stephen Brunt produced this fascinating long read on the country’s continuing obsession with hockey.

•  A typically thoughtful piece here from SportsPro deputy editor Adam Nelson, published in the wake of the release of the magazine’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes list, on the crossovers between sport and popular culture.

•  And finally here’s that authoritative piece on the challenge of making Australian horse racing relevant to a younger generation you’ve been waiting for, by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Chris Roots.

Those are the sports business pieces you ought to be reading this week. Thanks for reading, as ever. And as ever, you can reach me via email – – or on Twitter: @DavidCushnan

This week’s sports industry reading list

This, as the headlines rather hints at, is the sports industry reading list, my weekly guide to the best, most interesting and most relevant writing on the global business of sport. Whether you’re working in sport or are simply interested in how it’s organised and funded, you’ll hopefully find something of interest below. As usual, the list contains a combination of profiles, long-form features, pin-sharp analysis and interviews with industry grand fromages. Let’s get to it. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

•  It’s been a few weeks since heavyweight boxing’s big night at Wembley Stadium, but SportsPro editor Eoin Connolly has been beavering away to produce this, perhaps the definitive behind-the-scenes account of Joshua-Klitschko.

•  A big couple of weeks in the golf equipment business, with TaylorMade’s announcement it had signed a megabucks deal with Rory McIlroy swiftly followed by confirmation the company has been sold to KPS Capital Partners.’s Alana Johnson sat down with TaylorMade chief executive David Abeles on the why, what and how.

•  As the IOC extends its long-term partnership with watch brand Omega, a marvellous slice of Olympic sponsorship history here from Inside the Games’ David Owen.

•  One for broadcast production fans: Sportcal’s Martin Ross draws back the curtain and takes a peek inside Infront Sports & Media’s impressive digital operation at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships.

•  This is a really fascinating piece, by Nieman’s Joseph Lichterman, on tennis journalism and how Racquet magazine, a quarterly publication, is staking a claim to be the sport’s independent voice.

•  In the wake of the mild furore created when Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward told investors last week the club plans to “aggressively” market its in-house TV channel, MUTV, The Drum’s Tony Connolly examines the football club as media company and the real aim: data collection.

•  A fascinating deep-dive here by’s Jonathan Noble explaining how a former Formula One team owner is the man behind the launch of Formula One’s latest fan-friendly initiative.

•  Shabab Hossain of Tech Exec shares the highlights of Atlanta Hawks’ chief creative officer Peter Sorckoff’s presentation on rebranding the NBA franchise, from the recent CMO Disrupt event in Melbourne.

•  Richard Williams is well worth reading on just about anything. His latest Guardian column is Olympic-focused and makes a compelling case for Paris 2024.

Many thanks, as always, for reading and (as I’m sure you’re about to) sharing far and wide. Feel free to drop me a line via email – – or on Twitter. Until next time.


This week’s sports industry reading list

Here comes another sports industry reading list, brought to you by [INSERT YOUR COMPANY’S NAME HERE – analytics available on request]. This is where I summarise the best of the week’s writing on the global business of sport, from sponsorship to media rights, politics to marketing and lots in between – anything, indeed, that I think might be even halfway relevant for someone working in the industry or just keen to dig into how sport is organised and funded. It’s been a busy week – it was great to bump in to one or two reading list superfans at SportsPro Live in London on Wednesday and Thursday – and there’s a bumper selection below, so let’s crack on. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads:

  • In a week in which the England & Wales Cricket Board added some more meat to the bones of its plan to launch a city-based Twenty20 tournament, this fascinating in-depth piece by David Hopps for ESPN CricInfo examines an uncertain future for one of England’s great cricketing counties, Yorkshire.
  • The NFL has confirmed that the Oakland Raiders are to move to Las Vegas. There’s been a slew of interesting pieces since Monday’s vote by the league’s owners, not least this, from ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, which suggests that this may be the relocation that ends the NFL’s multi-billion dollar era of new stadiums.
  • SportBusiness International editor Ben Cronin sat down with IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe at the recent Leaders conference in New York. Plenty to discuss, as you’d expect; this is a piece well worth your time.

That’s this week’s reading list: standby for more next week, and in the meantime do feel free to drop me a line – – or share widely on Twitter. Until next time.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Hi there, global sports industry and hearty congratulations, because you’ve stumbled upon my latest selection of interesting, useful and relevant pieces about how sport is funded and marketed from the past few days. There’s the usual mix of interviews, profiles, features and opinions below, from a variety of sources including newspaper and magazine websites, sport specific websites and the sports industry trade media. If you like what you read, feel free to spread the word about this list and do come back again next week for more.

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • You wait for years and years and years for an NFL team to come to your city and then two rock up almost at once. So it is in Los Angeles, where the Chargers this week joined the newly-ensconced Rams. MMQB’s Andrew Brandt has an excellent review of the circumstances behind the Chargers’ move from San Diego.
  • Professional sport and cutting edge technology are intertwined like never before, so it’s always useful to read how a company like Intel  is approaching its activity in the sector. Taylor Soper sit down with James Carwana, general manager of the Intel Sports Group, for Geekwire provides a handy update.
  • The build up to the Australian Open over the past couple of weeks has seen many of the world’s top male players stop off in the Middle East to play in well-established tournaments in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai. In a piece originally published in Racquet magazine but reprinted this week by Sport360, Reem Abulleil explores tennis in the Middle East and asks why the region has so far failed to produce a world-class talent.

If you’ve reached this far, congratulations again: you’ve completed this week’s reading list. Feel free to email feedback of any sort to or find me on Twitter @DavidCushnan. And don’t forget to be back here same time (or thereabouts) next week for more.


This week’s sports industry reading list

Welcome to the latest edition of the sports industry reading list, my regular handpicked selection of the most interesting, relevant writing on the global business of sport. As usual, the list includes profiles, interviews, features and analysis from a range of online publishers – newspapers, magazines, specialist sport sites, the sports industry trade media and blogs. Those are, loosely speaking, the rules so let’s get started. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • The NFL regular season begins on Thursday and it’s a decade since Roger Goodell was appointed commissioner. His tenure has not been without significant controversy but he has also presided over a period of sustained growth for the league. The Associated Press has put together these two excellent summaries – here’s Barry Wilner on Goodell’s reign to date and the future challenges he faces.
  •  We’re fast-approaching conference season in the UK sports industry and connectivity, linked to enhancing the fan experience, will again inevitably be a central theme. On the eve of the new NFL season TechRepublic’s Teena Maddox delivered this fascinating long read – including plenty of interesting facts and figures – on how the league’s stadiums are being prepared for the online age.
  • eSports will also be high on the agenda at a number of conferences over the next few weeks – the sports industry seems utterly beguiled – and Leaders, now under the editorial command of James Emmett, has produced a refreshing take on a sportsport? – growing in prominence but not without sizeable challenges.
  • The Paralympic Games begin on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro and Jacob Steinberg has written a superb scene-setter for the Guardian, with the background on the troubled build-up and the hope that, ultimately, it’ll be the sport that makes the headlines.
  • Tumultuous times in Formula One, with speculation swirling around the Monza paddock (and then, some time later, the internet) that  a buyout of the sport is imminent. At times like these, Joe Saward’s post-race notebook, over on his blog, is essential reading. Here’s his punchy Italian Grand Prix edition from Monday morning.
  • The US Open looks a bit different this year, with all sorts of improvements designed to improve the spectator experience. The New York Times’ Sarah Lyall examined the on-site changes last week, speaking to fans, players and executives for this excellent piece.
  • And finally, slotting into our popular ‘not-directly-about-the-sportsbiz-but-nonetheless-quite-interesting-and-pretty-relevant’ section, the Boston Globe’s Ty Burr provides a reminder that it’s not just sport that’s facing the challenge of a fragmenting media world and intense competition for eyeballs.

As always, all feedback’s welcome on Twitter – @DavidCushnan – or via email:

Until next time.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Welcome to this week’s sports industry reading list – brought to you by [INSERT FUTURE SPONSOR’S NAME HERE]. This, as you will doubtless know by now, is where you’ll find my pick of the most interesting, revealing and downright good writing on the global business of sport from the past few days – sponsorship matters, political analysis, marketing musings and more. Without further ado, to business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • The world’s most marketable and arguably most famous female athlete admitted failing a drugs test this week and millions of words, thousands of opinions and a reasonable amount of nonsense inevitably followed. If you’re reading this, there’s a fair chance you’ve read plenty on the subject already, but if you’re in the mood for more I’d recommend this opinion piece by the Daily Telegraph’s Paul Hayward and this by Nigel Dudley, which brilliantly deconstructs that remarkable press conference last Monday.
  • The Russian doping scandal rumbles on with the IAAF, world athletics’ governing body, not yet ready to lift the ban on Russian athletes, which continues to leave their participation at August’s Olympic Games in doubt. Essential background reading on the topic here by Inside the Games’ Duncan Mackay, who smacks the nail right on the temple with this piece on the high politics likely to be at play in the decisions to be made over the next few months.

That’s this week’s short but sweet list. Back here, same place, roughly similar time next week for more recommendations. In the meantime, you can email me at or find me on Twitter @DavidCushnan.