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by Matthew Futterman
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

If you follow professional sports and like to know how we arrived at the point where today millions of dollars are paid to the most lauded and accomplished athletes in most sports, this is the book you'll want to read.

In a smooth flowing, accessible narrative, Matthew Futterman looks at the modern sports business and introduces a wide range of characters (some known and some not) who pushed the financial rewards through the ceiling for men and some women in golf, tennis, basketball, football, basketball and the Olympics.

'This book is about the people behind the series of events – many which began as happy accidents – that created the modern world of sports. In this world money determines everything from who plays for what teams to how dynasties are created. It determines how the stars of tomorrow are made. It shapes the star-centric style of play that dominates many of the world’s top sports leagues ... This world is about the business of creating champions in societies conditioned to worship them, and to reward the most sought after of them with annual compensation of more than $100 million a year,' explains the author.

You'll discover the important roles athletes, such as Arnold Palmer, Catfish Hunter, Edwin Moses, Stan Smith and a slew of other pros, played in changing the conditions that created this plethora of riches for today's many professional athletes.

As the reader goes behind the scenes with Futterman to see how this financial situation developed since the 1970s and 1980s, the agents, media personnel, team owners and sporting goods company people are also brought into the picture since they played a pivotal part in how the gold mine began to cough up its riches to the chosen athletes.

This is one of the most informative and interesting books I have read on professional sports and the money that drives it. Not only is it well worth reading but you'll probably want to share it with your like minded friends.

You have heard about the huge paydays for many of the players who take to the court or field each season, but in this book Matthew Futterman provides another vantage point from which to view what this business is now all about.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

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