Front Office Fantasies: The Rise of Managerial Sports Media
by Branden Buehler
University of Illinois Press, 2023
eISBN: 978-0-252-05528-7 | Cloth: 978-0-252-04562-2 | Paper: 978-0-252-08774-5

Front office executives have become high-profile commentators, movie and video game protagonists, and role models for a generation raised in the data-driven, financialized world of contemporary sports. Branden Buehler examines the media transformation of these once obscure management figures into esteemed experts and sporting idols.

Moving from Moneyball and Football Manager to coverage of analytics gurus like Daryl Morey, Buehler shows how a fixation on managerial moves has taken hold across the entire sports media landscape. Buehler’s chapter-by-chapter look at specific media forms illustrates different facets of the managerial craze while analyzing the related effects on what fans see, hear, and play. Throughout, Buehler explores the unsettling implications of exalting the management class and its logics, in the process arguing that sports media’s managerial lionization serves as one of the clearest reflections of major material and ideological changes taking place across culture and society.

Insightful and timely, Front Office Fantasies reveals how sports media moved the action from the field to the executive suite.

More to explore: Catholic Church