Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Review of "Players: The Story of Sports and Money"

While the topic of this book may not sound sexy and it certainly doesn't seem to match the image that the cover portrays, the book is one that I enjoy immensely.  It certainly illustrates the reality that money plays a huge role in just about every sport.  Here is my review of "Players"


Title/Author:
“Players: The Story of Sports and Money and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution” by Matthew Futterman

Tags:
Baseball, Football (American), basketball, golf, tennis, business

Publish date:
April 26, 2016

Length:
336 pages

Rating: 
4 of 5 stars (very good)

Review:
Sports are more than a form of entertainment, competition or games – they are also big business. While owners and other entrepreneurs have always understood this, the players and athletes have not always reaped the benefits of the revenue generated by their endeavors. How this changed and the role that money plays in sports is the topic of this entertaining book by Matthew Futterman.

Arnold Palmer could be considered the pioneer of this revolution when he hired an agent named Mark McCormack to assist in negotiating a better endorsement contract with Wilson Sporting Goods. It was a shock to Wilson as they thought they had given Palmer a fair offer. However, given the amount of money that Wilson was making off of the clubs endorsed by Palmer, that wasn’t the case according to McCormack. That lead to a new contract and a new era for player leverage in not only golf, but many other American sports as well.

Just about any type of business action that a sports fan can think of is covered in the book. Player free agency?  The saga of Catfish Hunter leaving Oakland for New York is covered.  Television money? A chapter is devoted to the proliferation of regional sports cable networks.  Licensed merchandise?  How the NFL marketed the growing popularity of quarterbacks into profits from selling jerseys is covered in detail. Professional tennis players and the struggles they had until they were offered larger purses in the major tournaments was the subject of the best chapter. The variety of sports and topics made this a very interesting book for me.

While some sports fans may be disillusioned because the role money plays in their favorite games, this well-researched book is one that any fan of any sport will want to read as it does a good job of illustrating the various ways that big money plays an important role in all professional sports. 

I wish to thank Simon and Schuster for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Format Read:
E-book (Kindle)

Buying links:


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