An examination of the special character of sport through European law's microscope reveals the scope of European trade law's adaptability to the particular context in which it is applied. The story of European sports law told through the case law illuminates the way in which European law is exploited by actors as a lever to prise open sometimes long-established organisational patterns. Sport has in recent years become more commercialised and more juridified too. The challenges to its self-regulatory preferences have strengthened and European law plays a significant part in this narrative. It is testimony to the pragmatic and creative approach of the European Commission and the European Court of Justice to the regulation of sport within the Single Market of the European Union, even though there is no specific provision in the EC Treaty giving the EU competence in the field of sport.