How sports and entertainment have continued to converge

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In a nutshell

Money Games chronicles how sports and entertainment have continued to converge throughout history. The pace at which this convergence has been happening is covered in the book’s nine chapters. My special focus is on how brands have been built and money has been made.

The book is organized in three sections; each chapter details the story of an important moment in the convergence of sports and entertainment. Money Games is part sports business playbook and part cautionary tale.

Throughout each chapter, readers will find a narrative-driven case study that epitomizes that area of convergence. Following each case study, a historical accounting of the seminal moments that have led to the present-day environment provides—for fans and industry professionals alike—an insider’s view of the business of sports and entertainment.

Chapters conclude with the words of industry patriarchs, in Q&A format. Each patriarch offers his thoughts on the convergence and how it has impacted his particular industry. This includes what they have experienced throughout their tenures, and what they believe to be compelling future developments—not only for their companies, but the sports business industry at large.

From ESPN President George Bodenheimer’s thoughts on the Internet’s impact on his business and EA SPORTS President Peter Moore’s detailing of the future of video gaming, to FOX Sports Chairman David Hill’s take on the direction of TV and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Owner Arte Moreno’s perspective on corporate marketing, the reader is provided a big picture look at how the convergence of sports and entertainment has and will continue to evolve.

“Each chapter contains a “bottom line” section where I discuss what convergence means to the future of that topic and, importantly, how and where money can be made.”

The wide angle

It is sometimes hard to fully appreciate the way in which the sports industry has grown, both organically and systematically—and how the business parlays fans’ insatiable appetite for sports into hundreds of billions of dollars on an annual basis.

As a veteran of the sports industry for over 20 years, I wanted to step back and describe the evolution of the sports business. My goal was not only to reflect my experiences as a consultant and professor, but to do so in a way that reflects the challenges and opportunities my colleagues face on a daily basis.

Consequently, industry stakeholders played a key role in the research and development of Money Games. We were constantly checking in to make sure that my perspective on the sports business rang true. Between extensive first person interviews and other strong industry relationships, we believe we were able to get a compelling read on the issues of the day.

As a result of this process, Money Games is a book by the industry and for the industry. But it also gives fans access to the boardrooms and executive offices behind their favorite pastimes.

Throughout the research and writing phase, it became obvious that, while sports have always been a form of entertainment, the specific aspect individually researched for our chapters had become increasingly more important to the sports entertainment experience.

This importance manifested itself in multiple ways. For instance, in our television chapter, we discuss how sports on television has precipitated the development of shoulder and related programming, thus creating entertainment value outside of the actual event. In another chapter, we analyze how sports anchored real estate development has transformed sports venues into centers of social, commercial, and residential importance.

Sports, and especially the business of sports, impact a multitude of industries. Money Games reflects this wide reach by detailing the sports-related growth of technology firms, video game companies, real estate groups, and marketers, among others. Each industry has found itself tied to sports through its convergence with entertainment. Not only have these industries become involved in the sports world, sports have typically also become a major part of their business portfolios.

May 4, 2011

A close-up

While the context of each chapter is found in the stories about each individual moment of convergence, I believe the access to high level executives throughout the industry provides the reader the biggest “wow” factor.

At the end of each chapter, these executives, many of whom have been directly involved with key areas of sports and entertainment convergence, answer questions about their industry’s past, present, and future decisions and processes necessary for sustained success.

Even at a quick glance, the reader will notice an impressive array of thought leaders across many different industries. These thought leaders have aided the book in myriad ways. Besides in the end-of-chapter interviews I mentioned earlier, they are also featured in the 27 additional interviews that have provided depth and scope to each chapter.

Taken together, the 36 interviews with industry stalwarts provide a comprehensive look at the way the convergence of sports and entertainment has evolved to become what it is today.

Specifically, the three individual sections that cover at-home, away-from-home, and at-venue convergence highlight the most important areas of sports business today. Readers will realize how they are affected, in their capacities as fans or industry participants, as the sports as entertainment continues to work toward engaging individuals wherever they are.

Ultimately, each reader will have a unique starting point when they pick up Money Games. Students and fans will be drawn to the subject matter and history behind some of their favorite topics. Industry executives will be interested in the thoughts of the patriarchs and critical analysis found at the end of each chapter. General readers will appreciate a comprehensive look at the business of sports and the role entertainment has played in its past, present, and future.

“Many pitfalls await the industry as it carefully navigates its way through what this new landscape means.”


The significance of this book is apparent when you see what is currently occurring in the world of sports and entertainment.

Whether you turn on the television to watch your favorite sporting event, venture off to the stadium to see your home team, or are determining where your company fits into the sports business landscape, you’re being impacted by the implications of the convergence of sports and entertainment. The level of engagement found today can be directly connected to the evolution of each area discussed in Money Games.

There are lessons learned in the successes and failures found in the history of sports and entertainment convergence. Money Games catalogs these moments and highlights the areas those involved must be wary of as they move forward.

Each chapter contains a “bottom line” section where I discuss what convergence means to the future of that topic and, importantly, how and where money can be made. Many pitfalls await the industry as it carefully navigates its way through what this new landscape means.

Upon finishing Money Games, readers should feel as though they have been given a behind-the-scenes look at sports, business, and entertainment. The lasting takeaway is one where the names and innovations may change, but the underlying implications of convergence remain. If the reader understands why and how this is happening, their involvement going forward will only continue to narrow the gap between sports and entertainment.

© 2011 David Carter
David M. Carter Money Games: Profiting from the Convergence of Sports and Entertainment Stanford University Press 288 pages, 6 x 9 inches ISBN: 978 0804759557

David M. Carter is the Principal of the Sports Business Group and a consultant for the sports and entertainment industries, specializing in strategic marketing. He is also the Executive Director of the University of Southern California’s Sports Business Institute and an associate professor of sports business at USC’s Marshall School of Business. Mr. Carter is a regular commentator to national media, and the author of four books about the sports business industry, including Money Games, featured in his Rorotoko interview.

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May 4, 2011