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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars News to me
This is very much an insiders look at the money side of big-time sports. I have been a sports fan most of my life, and was surprised at the amount of new-to-me information this book offered. Why do companies pay so much for naming rights on sports facilities? How do governments interact with leagues and teams? What do the movers and shakers in pro sports have to say about...
Published on August 17, 2011 by R. H. Hollwedel

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative.
Beyond the Scoreboard is an informative text that focuses on the behind the scenes work of the sports industry. As the title suggest, Rick Harrow provides a view of the sports industry that goes past what we see on the field. Horrow, a sports business analyst, explains many facets of sports business in a way that the everyday sports fan can understand. The writing is...
Published on September 1, 2011 by Marc Hammond


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars News to me, August 17, 2011
This review is from: Beyond the Scoreboard: An Insider's Guide to the Business of Sport (Paperback)
This is very much an insiders look at the money side of big-time sports. I have been a sports fan most of my life, and was surprised at the amount of new-to-me information this book offered. Why do companies pay so much for naming rights on sports facilities? How do governments interact with leagues and teams? What do the movers and shakers in pro sports have to say about their craft. What do agents really do for their cleints?

Interesting stuff in an accessible presentation. If you are interested in where the money is and how it moves in sports, you will enjoy this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent survey of the sports industry, October 30, 2011
This review is from: Beyond the Scoreboard: An Insider's Guide to the Business of Sport (Paperback)
This is a good book to read as the World Series ends and pro football is now in full swing if for no other reason than to give the sports fan a reality check on what pro sports is about-money and entertainment. It is well-written and full of interesting information as it surveys the different aspects of the business side of the industry with objectivity and a news reporter-like style, with one chapter devoted to each area. While the author doesn't write in great detail on any one subject, his knowledge is obvious and he succeeds in providing enough information to make the book a worthwhile read. In fact, the general nature of the book is what I found most appealing and why I rate it highly. There is enough new contained in each chapter without the author boring us with statistic after statistic (though there are some mentioned). I think he was smart enough to understand the people who are likely to read his book want to see some numbers but do not want to be inundated with too many.

As a fan of baseball and football (not so much pro basketball), I found the chapters on the economics of stadium building especially fascinating because I've experienced first-hand the positive impact made on the North Side of Pittsburgh by the additions of PNC Park (easily the best baseball park in the country) and Heinz Field.

I also enjoyed the chapter on sports TV which detailed the rise of ESPN and FOX Sports and how the rules of the media game have been changed by technology. I now understand better why announcers say some ot the insightful and not so insightful things they do and how Fantasy Football has become so big. (I admit it-I participate in two leagues.)

Though there are plenty of things to be disturbed about in pro sports, there are plenty of things to like as well, unless you are hopelessly cynical. Beyond the Scoreboard presents a nice balance between the two.

One suggestion: given the general nature of the book, a biblography at the end would have been nice to see in the event a reader wants to explore in more depth any of the topics covered.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes, it is a very, very big business!, September 7, 2011
This review is from: Beyond the Scoreboard: An Insider's Guide to the Business of Sport (Paperback)
If you suspected that sports are big, big business this book will confirm that. It gives a detailed picture of just about every business aspect of major sports including TV, ownership, corporate sponsorship, government involvement, stadium design and financing, and union/sports agents involvement. It even has a chapter of the sports video gaming industry and fantasy leagues that have flourished in the last decade. There are interviews with the commissioners of the principal sports: Roger Goodell (NFL), David Stern (NBA), Gary Bettman (NHL) and Brian France (NASCAR). In addition to its thorough descriptions of the mechanics of the sports business, the book has "case studies" interspersed throughout the chapters that give examples of the complex dealings of the sports business world.

One domain of the sports world, just to give one example, is the evolution of the design, construction and financing of sports stadiums (stadia?). There is an architectural sub-specialty of sports stadiums and arenas that has brought about many design innovations now commonly seen across the nation: single sport stadiums (no longer shared between football and baseball) luxury suites, club areas, strategies for seating placement, vendors and concessionaires, and more. It's no surprise that complicated financing schemes have emerged to fund these mega million structures, involving corporate resources and government/business partnerships.

There is hardly an aspect of the business of sports that isn't covered in great depth by the authors. Whatever one's favorite sport might be there is much to be learned about what makes it tick in this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative., September 1, 2011
This review is from: Beyond the Scoreboard: An Insider's Guide to the Business of Sport (Paperback)
Beyond the Scoreboard is an informative text that focuses on the behind the scenes work of the sports industry. As the title suggest, Rick Harrow provides a view of the sports industry that goes past what we see on the field. Horrow, a sports business analyst, explains many facets of sports business in a way that the everyday sports fan can understand. The writing is simple and to the point. Throughout the book multiple aspects of the sports industry are explained. Details range from the importance of mega sporting events such as the Sprint Cup, Super Bowl, and various All-Star Games, the financial burdens and profits of host, and a discussion of different stadiums to the changes in the ticketing processes involved with major sporting events. Each topical chapter covers a discussion of past and present business practices.

Horrow's research is detailed and up-to-date. Throughout each chapter there are multiple charts and tables used to compliment the information. Within a chapter discussing the ownership structures of professional sports teams, Horrow includes a table that breaks down how many ownership groups throughout the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL make their money. As an example, Mike Ilitch, owner of the Detroit Red Wings and Tigers uses his Little Caesar's pizza company as an income source (149). The book is full of factoids like this.

Another informative feature of this book are the interviews with some of the commissioners the more popular sports. Interviews include Roger Goodell, Gary Bettman, and David Stern. Each interview provides current perspectives on the sports business world and where they see their respective sports heading.

The book is informative and current, but at times favors the more popular sports. There are mentions of lesser sports, but the NFL, MLB, and NBA do dominate the discussions. If you're interested in learning a basic, easy to read view of the sports industry business practices this is a book you would want to pick up.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Facts Than Backstage Access, August 28, 2011
This review is from: Beyond the Scoreboard: An Insider's Guide to the Business of Sport (Paperback)
Corporate board rooms, country clubs, the Skulls, NFL Owners' Meetings- veiled worlds that by their very secrecy intrigue. Rick Hurrow's book, "Beyond the Scoreboard" promises to remove the curtain hiding the secret world of sports business.

"Go behind the scenes with your insider's access..." this book coaxes on its back cover. Hurrow's book fails, though, to deliver on this lofty offer.

Also, "Beyond the Scoreboard" is not an entirely new book. It is a sloppily revised addition of Hurrow's 2010 book, "Beyond the Box Score: An Insider's Guide to the $750 Billion Business of Sports." I say sloppily, because in 2011, it is odd to say things like, "Industry watchdog eMarketer estimates that U.S. advertising spending on sports-related websites will grow from $407 million in 2006 to $1.1 billion in 2011." Well, hmmm, it is 2011. Why not just tell us how much spending on sports-related websites actually did grow over this time?

It is moments in the book like these that one gets the suspicion that this book, rather than being a grand, cohesive narrative project, is really just a patchwork of excerpts, tidbits, thoughts, interviews, etc. Missing from the book is a story. No protagonists, no narrative, no climax, no struggle, no resolution, no enemy. It reads like an incomplete college text book- a set of case studies that a Professor, fortified with more information, might use as a launching pad for a lecture series.

Hurrow's book does offer a host of interesting facts (although absolutely zero of them are cited). For example, "In 2008, [Ticketmaster] sold more than 141 million tickets valued at more than $8.9 billion."

Hurrow relays these interesting facts in chapters that quickly bounce from one topic to another: the Super Bowl, the business of sports television, sports video game properties, stadium building and naming rights, government regulation of and involvement with sports, player labor unions and collective bargaining agreements, sports sponsorship and advertising, and sports ticketing.

Although, missing from this exploration of the world of sports business today is a central thesis. For example, "Globalization, digital technologies, and an increasingly empowered fan base is leading to a revolution in the business of sports." This is only a hypothetical. I am not sure what thesis is supported by the myriad of interesting facts Hurrow offers to readers. But I suppose part of me was hoping Hurrow would provide one.

Despite its lack of narrative or central argument, this book is still entertaining, full of raw data, and thought-provoking. Fans interested in the inner machinations of sports business may find it a worthwhile launching pad to more rigorous academic efforts.
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Beyond the Scoreboard: An Insider's Guide to the Business of Sport
Beyond the Scoreboard: An Insider's Guide to the Business of Sport by Richard B. Horrow (Paperback - July 29, 2011)
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