Issue 100: SportsPro Years - 2008

SportsPro has now been in print for ten years and 100 issues. To commemorate that landmark we’ve delved back into the industry decade gone by in SportsPro Years. We start with the year of our birth, 2008.

Issue 100: SportsPro Years - 2008

The world in 2008 was getting used to the idea that the 20th century order would change sooner or later.

The first convulsions of the global financial crisis were pulsing through major economies, with the September collapse of Lehman Brothers confirming a gloomy period ahead. It was quite a moment for emerging powers to step forward and in China, they were ready to seize their chance.

Despite dawning to a backdrop of concerns over human rights and free speech violations, not to mention the smoggy local environment, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games served as a spectacular statement of intent from a nation whose influence would only grow in the decade ahead. Between the staggering coordination of the opening ceremony and the iconic heft of venues like the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube, China’s abundant resources were on full display.

Across Asia, meanwhile, further evidence of the sports industry’s continental drift emerged in India – another of what were called, at that time, the ‘BRIC nations’, along with Brazil and Russia.

The Indian Premier League harnessed the subcontinental passion for cricket to remarkable eff ect, proving that major commercial properties could be established outside Europe and the US, and changing the course of more than one sport in the process.

The Quote

Tradition in this sport is tremendous, but we can’t let tradition handicap us. Going from a white ball to a yellow ball caused tremendous unrest 35 years ago. We went to the tiebreak and had a couple of players who didn’t want to come out of the locker room

Arlen Kantarian, chief executive, United States Tennis Association* – Issue 1


  • Uefa Euro 2008 held in Austria and Switzerland
  • Premier League proposes controversial ‘Game 39’
  • Government of Abu Dhabi buys Manchester City