Sport Inc. Why Money is the Winner in the Business of Sport

A seminar as part of the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre Public Seminar Series

Given by: Ed Warner, former Chairman, UK Athletics (2007-2017)

Lecture Theatre B35
Main Building
Torrington Square
Birkbeck College
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

Monday 25th November 2019 at 6pm

For directions click here.

Attendance at the event is free but you need TO REGISTER.


In this presentation, Ed Warner, the former Chairman of UK Athletics (2007-2017), where he notably ran the successful bid to stage the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London’s Olympic Stadium and was Chair of the London 2017 organising committee, will draw on this and wider experience in the sport business sector, as well as thirty years professional experience in the City of London financial markets, to discuss the often vexed relationship between sport and money in the modern sport economy. Speaking to analysis from his book Sport Inc. Why Money Is The Winner In The Business Of Sport, Ed will address a challenging question:

  • Is there behind every victory lap, every goal celebration, every triumph against the odds and every relay baton, a story of money?

Sub-themes that will be addressed include:

  • Why would someone pull the plug on a Premier League match?
  • What prompts an athlete to search for sponsorship on ebay?
  • What lies behind the decision to stage the World Cup in Qatar?
  • Why would a sprinter decide they can’t afford not to dope?

Drawing on illustrations from a range of sports Ed will discuss the behind-the-scenes finances that drive sport, explaining how some key industry actors become rich whilst other get left on the bench, how football agents really work, what drives the sport betting trade, the growth of e-sports, the NFL’s efforts to take over the world, and the real cost of hosting the  Tokyo Olympics.


Ed Warner was Chairman of UK Athletics from 2007 to 2017, and has been Chair of World Para Athletics for the International Paralympic Committee since 2011. He ran the successful bid to stage the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London’s Olympic Stadium, and was Chair of the London 2017 organising committee. Well known in sporting circles, Warner advises Crystal Palace Football Club as the Chair of its charity, the Palace for Life Foundation. He is regarded as an expert on both governance and corruption in sport. Warner is also a City financier, chairing financial businesses – including accountants Grant Thornton – as a respected boardroom exponent, and a media commentator, currently writing occasional business columns for The Times.


Warner. E. (May, 2019). Sport Inc: Why money is the winner in the business of sport. Penguin.


Ed Warner can be contacted via: Mia Quibell-Smith, | 020 7840 8563.



Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020-7631 6763

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