Breakingviews

The Exchange podcast: El Presidente of Barstool Sports

February 3, 2016

Dave Portnoy, founder of the oft-controversial sports blog website, swings by Times Square to discuss the sale of a majority stake to The Chernin Group, his plans for world domination, moving to New York and a Super Bowl without the Patriots.

Host Brazil may challenge for 2016 Olympics glory

December 24, 2015

The mighty U.S. will be hard to dislodge from the top spot. But a prediction based on population, GDP, the cost of Nikes and past willingness to dope suggests Brazil could break into the top five by medals. Like Team GB in 2012, that will require capitalising on home advantage.

Mets and America pull off a slick double play

October 22, 2015

As the country staggered under dud mortgages, the baseball team fell victim to Bernie Madoff. Infusions of money helped right Uncle Sam, but the Amazins took a far more frugal path. A World Series for the New York club puts an exclamation point on the financial crisis’ end.

New drivers could rev Formula One’s billions

June 25, 2015

Private equity backer CVC is ready to speed off after a decade of turbocharged returns, while 84-year-old patriarch Bernie Ecclestone may not be doing enough to tune high-tech motor racing’s commercial chassis. Qatari and U.S. owners might just restore full power.

The FIFA big boss guide to executive survival

May 28, 2015

Soccer’s supremo Sepp Blatter may win a fifth four-year presidency at the scandal-wracked governing body. Even if he fails, his tenacity is remarkable. It owes much to FIFA’s financial success, but also cumbersome governance and tin ears. Those help all boardroom Machiavellis.

FIFA cover-up almost a dare for U.S. enforcers

May 27, 2015

In November, the Zurich-based World Cup organizer whitewashed an internal investigation, according to the former U.S. attorney who conducted it. Swiss authorities were alerted, but FIFA largely dismissed corruption allegations. No wonder American prosecutors have gone in hard.

Dick’s buyout has financially sporting chance

January 8, 2015

The $6 bln U.S. golf-to-guns vendor is mulling a sale to private equity. Low debt at Dick’s Sporting Goods means even with a chunky premium, attractive returns look possible. It would, however, require healthy growth when stiff online competition is challenging many retailers.

Adidas can’t afford to be sentimental about Reebok

October 20, 2014

The German sports group is reportedly set to receive a $2.2 bln offer for the unit. Having overpaid for Reebok in 2006, Adidas has since turned it round and may be loath to sell. But Reebok has little strategic use. Fiduciary duty demands a cold appraisal of its financial value.

A creative NFL would lean in to Sheryl Sandberg as commissioner

October 8, 2014

Furors over domestic violence and concussion risks have made U.S. football and boss Roger Goodell vulnerable. An unconventional idea for a replacement is Facebook’s No. 2. Sandberg would bring the female presence the league needs. She, too, might have something to gain.

Rob Cox: Flurry of ski M&A aims to control weather

September 30, 2014

CEOs and corporate financiers revel in the power of the deal. One company, Vail Resorts, is taking the idea to extremes. By acquiring clusters of snowy U.S. retreats in different climates and selling “Epic” season passes, it is trying to smooth bumps caused by Mother Nature.