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

And we’re back. This is the sports industry reading list, returning after a brief hiatus during which, frankly, there have often been more important things to be reading about. Nonetheless, I’ve curated – LOVE that word – the best, the most interesting and the most relevant pieces on the global business of sport from the past few days – a mix of interviews, profiles, long-form features, punchy analysis and opinion. So let’s get going. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads:

•  A very good series from the Guardian, Sport 2.0, went live last week with the aim of considering the future of sport in a connected world. It’s all well worth reading but the pick, to my mind, is Simon Hattenstone’s piece examining the way in which consumption of football is changing almost before our eyes.

•  An extensive interview here – so extensive it had to be split in two – with new PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, by SportsPro’s America’s editor Michael Long, on his plans to grow the game and how he intends to make his own mark in a role held for so long by Tim Finchem.

•  World sport’s attention is gradually moving once again towards Russia, with the World Cup just a year away and the Confederations Cup now up and running. Nick Ames, writing for ESPN FC, put together this interesting piece on Kazan, a city that may help to change perceptions of the host country over the next 12 months.

•  It’s on (with extra hype). Mayweather versus McGregor, August 26th, Las Vegas. And, happily, Kevin Draper has already written perhaps the definitive ‘business behind the bout’ piece in the New York Times.

•  Nascar writer Jeff Gluck has got a nice little series running where he speaks to various series stakeholders about their personal social media strategy. The latest edition, featuring former Nascar champion and prolific tweeter Brad Keselowski, is particularly fascinating.

•  Hein Verbruggen, the influential and controversial former president of world cycling’s governing body, died last week. Sportcal’s Callum Murray sat down with the Dutchman as recently as May for what turned out to be his final interview – it’s a fascinating long read.

•  Plenty to chew on in Olympic sponsorship circles over the past few days, with Intel poised to join the worldwide marketing programme and the early conclusion to the longstanding partnership between the Games and McDonald’s. Inside the Games’ Michael Pavitt’s latest blog considers the IOC’s current financial landscape.

•  It’s Women’s Sports Week in the UK and the BBC has published an analysis of the gender prize money gap. The summary: it’s closing. The full details, put together by Anna Thompson & Kate Kopczyk, are well worth your time.

•  And finally, a long and revealing LA Times profile of Jeanie Buss, controlling owner and president of the Los Angeles Lakers, by Tania Ganguli.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading and, if you feel the need, do drop me a line at davidcushnan@gmail.com or find me on Twitter: @DavidCushnan. Until next time.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Time, once again, for the sports industry reading list, my weekly(ish) guide to pieces of note about the global business of sport. They might be profiles, interviews, opinion pieces or long-form features and they might be about sponsorship, media rights, fan engagement, the way big events are organised or an industry grand fromage. You get the idea, I’m sure, so let’s get underway. To business:

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • The BBC’s Greg Dunlop has an interesting tale from Australia, where a Facebook Live stream of a recent pay per view boxing bout has prompted a debate around rights infringements and underlined the challenges rights holders face in protecting their content. It’s a piece that has relevance for the entire the sports and media industries.
  • Heineken is, of course, one of world sport’s most prominent sponsors so it’s always handy to keep up to speed with what the company’s global sponsorship chief Hans Erik Tuijt is thinking. Dan Cancian of the IB Times is asking the questions here.
  • Was this the week when drone racing came of commercial age? It’s a ridiculous question, but what we can say with certainty is that Allianz has signed up as the new title sponsor of the Drone Racing League. And, perhaps as importantly, this new tech-sport is deemed worthy of a major – and very good – piece in the Observer, written by Simon Parkin.
  • Jon Wertheim’s Sports Illustrated interview with Dana White, ringmaster of the UFC, covers plenty of ground – from election night to Ronda Rousey, working with Ari Emanuel to fighter welfare – and is absolutely riveting.

That’s this week’s list. As always feel free to get in touch via davidcushnan@gmail.com or, on Twitter, @DavidCushnan. Until next week.

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.

 

This week’s sports industry reading list

Tumultuous times at the top of world sport and, with the Olympic Games less than 10 days away and the reverberations of the IOC’s decision not to impose a blanket ban on Russian athletes still registering on the controversy-ometer, there’s doubtless more to come. It’ll come as no surprise, then, that this week’s sports industry reading list is mostly Olympic-flavoured.

As usual, what follows is a mix of the best and most interesting sports business-related features, profiles, interviews and analysis – if sport’s your business, I’d politely suggest it’s well worth reading on.

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • Richard Deitsch’s weekly sports media round-up is always essential reading and his latest edition features a fascinating round-table with half a dozen journalists heading to Rio 2016 – pretty much all the key issues are covered, from doping to to stress levels.
  • As the dust settles on the UFC’s acquisition by WME | IMG, is kickboxing poised to be the next big thing in the fightsports world? The Daily Telegraph’s Gareth A. Davies has taken a look. It’s well worth your time.

And there we have it, another reading list safely in the (virtual) books. As always, do let me know if it works for you via email – davidcushnan@gmail.com – or on Twitter. And don’t forget to tell your friends/colleagues/clients/grandma about it.

This week’s sports industry reading list

Welcome to the sports industry reading list, a handpicked selection of the most relevant and interesting pieces on the global business of sport. As always I’ve scoured the internet for the best profiles, opinion pieces, features and expert analysis and here, with not as much as a drum-roll to manufacture some tension, are the results.

This week’s sports industry must-reads

  • The votes have long since been cast, counted, verified and maybe even destroyed, and Gianni Infantino is Fifa’s new president. With the dust now settled on the Fifa Congress, Keir Radnedge produced this excellent analysis of how Infantino’s victory came to pass.
  • It’s two weeks until the lights go out in Melbourne for the start of the 2016 Formula One world championship. The new cars have been launched and tested, and it appears I’m not alone in being a little disappointed that many of them have been painted in very similar colours. Over on his website, James Allen sought out the opinion of a professional designer. Note: this piece contains some forthright views and is all the better for it.
  • It’s ten years since the winter Olympics took place in Turin. Over on the official Olympic website, I thought this was an interesting piece on the legacy of the Games. It’s written with something of an agenda (Agenda 2020, to be precise), of course, but nonetheless it’s a useful retrospective on an Olympic city ten years after the circus has left town.

That’s that – apart from a quick happy anniversary to Mike Laflin and the team at Sportcal, celebrating 25 years covering the business of sport this week – but do return for another list of sports industry must-reads next week.

In the meantime, feel free to drop me an email or, for more public feedback, seek me out on Twitter.

This week’s sports industry reading list – Fifa election special!

FIFA elects its new president on Friday and so no apologies for the fact that this week’s sports industry reading list has a world football governing body tinge to it. As always, though, this is my pick of the most interesting writing on the global business of sport from the past few days, published by newspapers, specialist titles and pretty much any other nook and cranny of the internet. Let’s get underway.

This week’s FIFA-related must-reads:

  • Friday will mark the formal end of Sepp Blatter’s tenure at the helm of FIFA. Martyn Ziegler, now safely installed as the Times’ chief sports reporter, sat down with Blatter last week, delivering this terrific piece (the portraits of Blatter by Marc Aspland are pretty darn good too).
  • There are those who suggest that anybody actually interested in becoming FIFA president should automatically be excluded from the process, but five men have stayed the course and will be on the ballot paper in Zurich. Rob Harris from the Associated Press put together these handy pen pictures of them all.
  • An essential read on the favourite (or joint-favourite, or close second favourite) Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, whose campaign has been marred by his questionable record on human rights, by James M. Dorsey.

This week’s non-Fifa related sports industry must-reads:

  • The Daily Telegraph’s football correspondent Sam Wallace wrote a fascinating piece on the financial implications of Real Madrid’s basketball operation.
  • Written before the closest Daytona 500 finish in history on Sunday, Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel sat down with Danica Patrick to discuss the end of her long-term corporate relationship with Go Daddy and her new major partner Nature’s Bakery. It’s a really good, detailed insight into the dynamics of the athlete as brand ambassador.
  • Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated used his always-interesting weekly media column to conduct a roundtable with several members of the mixed martial arts media. It’s a fascinating read on access and attitudes in the UFC and the other major promotions.
  • And finally this week, a must-listen: Matt Cutler, the former editor of Sport Business (not to mention my sports business trade magazine nemesis for several years) has launched his new podcast venture, SB Weekly. His first guest is Riccardo Silva, grand mozzarella  at MP & Silva. You’ll find it here.

That’s all for now. You can email me at davidcushnan@gmail.com or send me a tweet @DavidCushnan. See you back here next week.