Yellow Jersey editorial director Tim Broughton is being made redundant after three years in the role with the specialist sports imprint continuing in a reduced capacity “following a review of the sports book market”.
The list will carry on under Vintage publishing director Rachel Cugnoni, founder of the imprint, with editorial support from Joe Pickering, publicity director for Jonathan Cape and Bodley Head.
A Vintage spokesperson said Yellow Jersey would continue on a "smaller, more focused scale" following "a review of the sports book market".
Broughton will remain at Yellow Jersey until 12th September after which Pickering will step in to provide support in an editorial capacity alongside his publicity role. A Vintage spokesperson said the Broughton will also publish Eniola Aluko’s They Don’t Teach This later this month.
Broughton joined Yellow Jersey in August 2016 from Michael Joseph, where he had been a marketing director promoting authors such as Steven Gerrard and Steven Fry. Prior to this he worked in marketing at HarperCollins – managing campaigns for writers such as Usain Bolt and Andre Agassi – and Virgin Books.
Broughton said: “It’s been a privilege to work with some outstanding authors over the last three years. I am, of course, sad to be leaving Vintage and Penguin Random House, but also very excited about a future which will continue to combine my personal love of all sports with my professional career.”
Cugnoni said: “When I started Yellow Jersey in 1998, the sports book market was an entirely different beast. Our decision to reduce the list has been a difficult one but it’s entirely commercially driven, the result of a challenging sales picture. I would like to thank Tim for the energy and commitment he has shown during his time at Yellow Jersey and wish him the very best for the future. I look forward to resuming my close connection to the imprint and alongside Joe, continuing to provide the very best publishing experience for our Yellow Jersey authors.”
In May 2018 Frances Jessop, former editor for Yellow Jersey Press and Vintage, was made redundant after nine years with the imprint.
A few months earlier, at Yellow Jersey’s 20th anniversary celebration, Broughton spoke of the challenges facing the sports book market including free content available online for fans, across blogs, fan sites and zines. Transworld began to pull out of the space in June 2017, letting sports publisher Giles Elliott go after it said the market was "rapidly declining".
The sports book market has proved volatile the past few years and has dwindled in 2019 – it dipped 3.5% in volume and 0.23% down in value year-on-year for the year-to-date 15th June 2019, according to Nielsen BookScan. However it is not a linear decline as it is up in value compared to five years ago. Motor Sports and Cycling seems to be declining most rapidly and is down 16.4% in value for the year-to-date, though was up nearly 10% last year. When across the Biography: Sports section, sports autobiographies are up nearly 16%.