Book Review: Sports Marketing 2008

Every year, Richard K. Miller & Associates comes out with a collection of consumer-related market research studies. The most relevant study for our area of concern is their annual Sports Marketing assessment of the sports business in the U.S. The most recent publication is hot off the press and appropriately titled, Sports Marketing 2008.

Sports Marketing 2008 is not a cheap publication. You will not be purchasing it as an impulse buy, unlike say, God Save The Fan. I would like to thank Richard Miller for sending me an online access code and hardbound copy of Sports Marketing 2008, which has a total retail value of $670 combined (.pdf – $285. hardbound – $385). After checking out both forms, my suggestion is to save yourself $100 and a bunch of wasted trees by ordering the online .pdf version. It is word-for-word the same exact publication, save a color cover that has a picture of a pair of socks in front of a television.

Richard K. MillerBut more importantly, should you purchase Sports Marketing 2008 at all? If you are an average sports fan who regularly watches ESPN and checks out this site merely because we touch on interesting concepts, then this is not a necessary purchase. If you have plans to become an agent, the compilation will not help you immediately, but it will provide an insight into where exactly the $185 billion in the sports industry comes from and goes to. As a registered agent, Sports Marketing 2008 is still not a necessary companion; however, having it as a reference will definitely aid you in obtaining sponsorships for your clients.

For example, let’s say that you are an MLBPA certified agent with a couple of guys in the 2008 MLB draft. One of those players is projected to go in the first round. You have several things to consider when trying to place that player with a particular team. Will you try to place him with the Yankees, who lead the led the league in 2007 attendance per home game and has the highest team valuation at $1.2 billion? Want to know what sponsors to go after during your clients rise to the majors? Interested in learning the breakdown of race/ethnicity in MLB? This type of information is readily available in Sports Marketing 2008.

The thing I really enjoy about the assessment is that it highlights a tremendous amount of team and individual sports. Everything from the NFL to the WNBA to AVP Pro Beach Volleyball is analyzed. That said, I was a little shocked to see Miller highlight triathlons, action sports, and video gaming, but leave out a sport like bowling, which has decently high ratings every Sunday on ESPN. Maybe this post will convince Miller to include the sport in his 2009 version.

Overall, I realize that Sports Marketing 2008 is quite pricey compared to the other books that have been reviewed on this site. Again, it is definitely not for every reader who subscribes to At the same time, I do believe that there are at least a handful of you who would seriously benefit from having it as a companion guide. For a sample chapter, click here.

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