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Seven things that will change the golf business in 2015.

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I’ve started working with StoryStream. It’s a loose collaboration at this stage but we’re excited about where it might lead. They are a tech company with a number of very big and posh clients. I’m in to the editorial, storytelling and content thing. Working together broadens both our offers. It adds editorial expertise to StoryStream’s product portfolio and gives what I do a dimension beyond the day rate consultancy model.

More broadly the alliance allows me to pursue a few threads that have been nagging away for a while. Some thoughts on this below.

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Millennials don’t like cricket/golf/anything complex. The shorter the better, the less ‘difficult’ we can make sport, the more the audience will be able to ‘engage’. We always knew it was bullshit but it doesn’t stop sports administrators taking this wonky received wisdom and running with it. The Twentification of sport has been the theme of the last decade. Push any sport in to a football sized hole and hope for the best.

It’s a theory I suppose. But this Vice piece on the appeal of the Football Manager computer game franchise seems to get in the way. Complexity and Millennials seem to get on fine.

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Dices loaded.

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Loneliness is a killer. So it’s great to see a really creative piece of work using social media that lives up to its name.

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3481844315_d085d06d8cIan Poulter has a book out and has changed his club and shoe sponsor. It’s worth noting that his brand value is almost entirely derived from his association with the Ryder Cup. There are no majors on his CV. No WGCs, no orders of merit or Races to Dubai.

This gets to a bigger question.

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Some big questions lurk within the NBA’s new rights deal with ESPN and TNT, in which the networks will pay about $2.6 billion each year.

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Outgoing ECB chief exec David Collier was on the radio this morning, attempting to protect his legacy from being hijacked by Kevin Pietersen’s revelations from inside the England dressing room. Collier leaves England cricket’s governing body a wealthier, more ‘business-like’ place. But I’m wondering if there is something else we need to learn from his tenure at the top, an era defined more than anything else by the rise of Twenty20 cricket…

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Plenty going on at Stamford Bridge this week. Here’s my pick.

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Multimillionaires shouldn’t offer opinions on pay day loans really.

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Does distance matter? And has the NFL learnt anything since 1982?  

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What Adam Tinworth writes about tweeting from conferences is true across all content platforms. As we watch a major sports event, how many of us just tweet what we – and tens of millions of others – see on TV?

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What happens when a journalist criticises a sports property his employer has spent nearly $2billion a year on?
Grantland editor Bill Simmons criticised NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Grantland is owned by ESPN. It’s the ultimate test of journalistic integrity, and ESPN failed.
Good analysis in the New Yorker, with a good question buried in the middle: what’s the difference between a broadcaster with so invested in a sports property and an own brand TV channel? The answer is, not much.

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That of Sir Terry Matthews to be precise. Just shows there’s different ways to measure success. 

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Spent a fascinating hour talking with Professor Gary Hamel at London Business School last week. We were talking about leadership and innovation, and the successes and failures of the ‘leadership industry’. When consulting, Hamel has a test of ‘leadership’. How many would pass it I wonder?

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4472991886_3bd3395c01They are on everyone’s hit list from the RWC2015 – see Paul Hayward’s piece below – to the NFL, NBA and the big London Premier League clubs – see Spurs’ business plan for the new stadium.

The problem with Big Eventers is their promiscuity. This is particularly true of the NFL’s hopes to build a London franchise, a plan that is seemingly based on their recent success in filling Wembley for one off matches.

Big Eventers tend not be tribal, but go to the opening of a fridge door.

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Excellent piece by Shane Ryan on how the media makes it so hard for sporting celebrities to be open and honest. Using Rory McIlroy as the example.

There are obvious parallels here with political reporting, where every honest statement is blown up to be a gaffe.

The result is a stifled public discourse, and the general blame game that today’s generation of sports stars are boring and not a patch on the great pissheads of yesteryear.

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Can a major sports body such as the NFL continue to call themselves non-profit when the boss takes home over $44million?

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Micro endorsements are a future for the sponsorship market. The key figure in this is 53,500, the average Twitter following of an NFL player.

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Spent an enjoyable hour at Synergy’s rugby breakfast session at the Shard. Good panel chat provoked a few thoughts.

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