Book by U of S graduate highlights the intersection of finance and sport

By in Sports & Health

A new book authored by University of Saskatchewan graduate Justin Bedi is making waves in the sports world. Sports Are Worth How Much!? And Other Questions In Pro Sports Answered (Kind Of) explores some of the defining issues of professional sports in Canada and the United States.

Justin Bedi’s new book looks at sports through a unique lens.

Bedi attended the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the U of S and believes his degree aided him during the creation of his book.

“Writing the book was an awesome experience. It was so great to just hammer it out in seven months or so and do all the research and writing. I would definitely [attribute] a lot of my skill set that I used to write the book [to] the U of S,” Bedi said.

Originally from British Columbia, Bedi notes that he enjoyed his time spent in Saskatchewan.

“It was great being on campus — there’s a great sports culture there. I think that played a part in developing my passion for sports, and coupling that with gaining a lot of skills from my master’s program there, it had a really good impact on the book,” Bedi said.

In his book, Bedi dives into a wide array of topics in the world of sports, such as fantasy sports, ticket prices and why hockey is so important to Canada, looking at these issues from the perspective of economics and business.

One main concept that Bedi tackles is the payment of collegiate athletes. While the issue has been widely discussed south of the border, concerning National Collegiate Athletic Association athletes, it has lacked traction in Canada, with U Sport athletes. However, while the principles are the same, Bedi believes that, even if an agreement were reached in America, it wouldn’t necessarily transfer over to Canada.

“I would love to say that it would have a huge impact here, but to be honest with you, rightly or wrongly, it’s not as big of an issue in Canada. You don’t really ever hear about it from Canadian media outlets. You don’t hear about it from students as much — they’re less vocal here. It’s not as big of a deal, [but] it should be,” Bedi said.

Another significant topic that Bedi covers at length in the book is the concept of international expansion. He believes international expansion is inevitable and views the move as potentially the most significant shift in the sports industry that will take place in the next 25 years.

Bedi dedicates a chapter to international expansion in Canadian and American leagues, and — accounting for population, fan interest and economic indicators — lists ideal cities for the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL, stating that an an obvious location for the NBA is overseas in Beijing.

“Basketball is extremely popular over there, and my research analysis tells me Chinese government and Chinese businesses, as well as the NBA, would be very open to starting something over there,” Bedi said.

The book is one of the first of its kind, and Bedi believes readers will enjoy it, especially those looking for niche information about the sports world.

“I think people should check out the book. I think it’s really new, and I tackle a lot of different [and] unique topics that I think a lot of people have never even discussed before,” Bedi said.

Bedi also takes up the task of making economics appealing by focussing on keeping his book entertaining.

“I think I do my best to make a subject like sports economics as exciting as possible, and there’s a lot of really bad jokes throughout the book, and I try to keep it light and fun,” Bedi said. “I would encourage people to check it out, and I think they’d like it.”

Sports Are Worth How Much!? And Other Questions In Pro Sports Answered (Kind Of) is available for purchase on amazon.com for 15.99 USD.

Matthew Johnson

Photo: Justin Bedi / Supplied