Issue 100: SportsPro Years - 2017

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. Here, we look at a year that brought us the Mayweather v McGregor 'spectacle'.

Issue 100: SportsPro Years - 2017

Paris and Los Angeles were the victors and the last ones standing in an Olympic bidding race that felt like a watershed in 2017.

The French capital will host the 2024 Summer Games, with the US media mecca to follow in 2028. By then, there will likely be much more known about the future shape of major sporting events.

Everywhere else, there were signs that what constitutes such a thing is changing. Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr and UFC sensation Conor McGregor staged an ambitious crossover event – and made a lot of money – in Las Vegas. The advance of sporting bodies into esports gathered pace, with tenders for the franchise-based Overwatch League giving plenty of owners a route into the space, while the ATP lunged boldly at the future of men’s tennis with the launch of its Next Gen Finals, replete with a wide set of rule changes.

In the US, meanwhile, the major leagues were adjusting to life in the age of President Trump. NBA players and coaches stood confidently against their bellicose new leader’s threats to liberty and decency but the picture was more complicated in the NFL, where scores of players had followed Colin Kaepernick’s lead in protesting racial inequality and police brutality during the pre-game national anthem. Trump, whose prior ambitions to become an NFL owner went unfulfi lled, made the gridiron a political battleground by calling on protesting stars to be fired.

“I think we live in such exciting times that it would be a shame if sports broadcasting was not trying to get something and to learn something from the emergence of huge technologies which will change the way we live.”

Yiannis Exarchos, chief executive, Olympic Broadcasting Services – Issue 97

Landmarks

  • Video assistant referee (VAR) technology debuts in elite soccer
  • Emirates Team New Zealand seize sailing’s America’s Cup
  • ESPN’s OJ: Made in America wins Oscar