Out now - SportsPro Issue 75: The battle for Fifa’s future

19 March 2015 | Posted in Notes & Insights | By James Emmett | Contact the author

Out now - SportsPro Issue 75: The battle for Fifa’s future

Publicly unpopular but protected by his power base, Fifa president Sepp Blatter has come to personify the fault lines in global soccer politics. He looks set to stay in office for a controversial fifth term but a concerted European effort has been launched to stop him.

Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, the Dutch Football Association's Michael van Praag, and Portugal's Luis Figo are the men who have thrown their hats in the ring to take on the 79-year-old Swiss.

Though most would eat their own hats if any one of the three likely lads won out when the votes are counted at the Fifa Congress in June, there is now a clear political campaign being waged by European governing body Uefa to lever Blatter out of power.

The April edition of SportsPro magazine contains a comprehensive special report on the Fifa presidential election. Eoin Connolly, SportsPro's features editor as well as the editor of quarterly business of soccer publication SoccerexPro, examines the systemic processes inside Fifa that have concreted in Blatter's power, and gauges the slim hopes of those that have lined up against.

Elsewhere in the issue:

- Lord Sebastian Coe sets out his stall for the IAAF presidency, and explains his strategy for devolved, modern leadership across the global athletics world.

- International federations are cumbersome entities. Founded in amateurism, their working methods are often blighted by creaking statutes and political obstacles. Given a blank piece of paper, what would the ideal global governing body look like today? Some blue sky thinking with Sportradar's Andreas Krannich, former USOC general counsel Jeffrey Benz, former UCI president Pat McQuaid, West Nally founder Patrick Nally, Lord Sebastian Coe, Odgers Berndtson's Simon Cummins, and Transparency International's Sylvia Schenk.

- Competitive eating, eSports, fishing, poker and mind sports, professional wrestling, and spelling bees. All employ commercial structures familiar to the sports industry. We asked representatives from each field, is this sport? And they responded.

- At Nascar and IMG, George Pyne built a reputation as one of America's leading sports marketers, striking deals, leading teams, and growing businesses. Now he has struck out on his own to launch Bruin Sports Captial, a venture which despite US$250 million in capital is, he insists, more than a mere investment firm.

- Europe's domestic basketball leagues may not have the global status of the NBA in the US, but several of them are pressing on to make the most of their growing appeal. Basketball executives from the warming markets of Spain, Germany, Israel and Russia talk to Michael Long about the trends shaping the game in Europe.

- Having hired advertising giant Dentsu as its marketing partner at the end of 2013, the J League has benefited from a tranche of fresh thinking and a record-breaking title sponsorship deal. And with teams such as second tier Consadole Sapporo willing to take risks in their executive recruitment philosophies, Japanese soccer is entering a new age.

- Our annual digital special report takes the temperature of a hot pocket of the industry, featuring updates on the sports strategies at Yahoo and Bitcoin, a comprehensive interview with pioneering 21st Club founder Blake Wooster, and a behind-the-scenes tour of 'datatainment' specialists Seven League.

- Thought leadership pieces from AVP managing partner Donald Sun, StoryStream chief executive Alex Vaidya, and Blended Republic managing director Chris Sice.

- Life after sport with George Foreman, On the road with Harlequins RFC, and mover or the month Marc Hope.

- Outgoing US correspondent Ian McPherson bids us adieu with his final missive from the US bureau, and we continue our new series of 'show me the money' reports with an analysis of the earning opportunities of Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina.

Get your hands on a copy of the magazine here.

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