Sports management can prove a brutal career, but a rewarding one if the manager finds a niche and becomes successful in his or her specialty. This list of 13 sports management experts worth knowing is filled with individuals who focused on a specific sport and took his or her expertise to the limit. Some are professors, some are business owners, and some fill both roles in pursuit of sports management excellence.
This list is arranged alphabetically by surname.
- Dr. Robin Ammon is a full Professor and the Chair of the Department of Sport Management at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. Dr. Ammon has worked for himself, and for a national crowd management company (CSC) as a supervisor, manager and consultant. This experience has included various Super Bowls, collegiate athletic events and hundreds of concerts all across North America. In 2002, Dr. Ammon was elected as the 17th President of the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM).
- Richard L. Andersen, CFE, president of Lighthouse Consulting and long-term International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) leader, is president and CEO of Northlands in Edmonton, Alberta. He is a 32-year facility development and management veteran. Earlier in his professional career, Andersen served as President of Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, FL, where he supervised the delivery of services to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and was part of the Super Bowl XXIX Hosting Committee in 1995.
- Nick Brockmeyer, president of Platinum Sports & Entertainment Management, LLC, started his agency when he was in the final year of law school. His agency represents about 40 professional baseball players at various levels of the game. Combining business savvy with a little sports know-how, he and fellow Southeast graduate Bert Fulk own the largest baseball talent agency in the state of Missouri. He also teaches a class on sports law at Washington University and one on sports and entertainment management at Fontbonne University.
- Dr. Eric Brownlee, a sports management professor in the U of M’s School of Kinesiology and also vice president of the U of M’s Sports Business Institute, Brownlee has developed a defensive backs coaching manual for the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher football program. The manual was created through qualitative research and a comprehensive literature review and included information about drills, tactics, recruiting, training and conditioning.
- Bobby Goldwater, well known as an industry leader and consultant in the sports venue management field, served 24 years at in a number of executive positions. Mr. Goldwater currently is president of The Goldwater Group LLC, a consulting management company serving the sports and entertainment industry. In 2008, he was honored by the Event and Arena Marketing Conference, receiving its prestigious GIGI Award of Excellence and being inducted into the EAMC’s Hall of Fame.
- Alistair Gray, whose consultancy firm conducted a review of the Football Association of Ireland, is an expert in leadership and management in sports administration. His clients include a number of leading multi-national PLCs and sporting organizations such as the International Cricket Council, The Football Association, ECB, Cricket Australia, the SFA, FAI, Lawn Tennis Association, UK Sport and Sport England. Alistair is chairman of British Swimming through to the 2012 Olympic Games.
- Dr. Donna Lopiano is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Sports Foundation (1992-2007) and was named one of “The 10 Most Powerful Women in Sports” by Fox Sports. Recognized as one of the foremost national experts on gender equity in sport, Dr. Lopiano has testified about Title IX and gender equity before three Congressional committees, served as a consultant to the U.S. Office for Civil Rights Department of Health, Education and Welfare Title IX Task Force and as an expert witness in twenty-eight court cases.
- Jim Loria has been involved in hockey team management since 1977, including working in the National Hockey League with the Washington Capitals, Minnesota North Stars and Carolina Hurricanes. He has over 30 years of sports marketing and management experience, has been with Sioux Falls Sports since its inception in 1998. Loria recently was promoted to the position of President of Sioux Falls Sports, the parent company of the Sioux Falls Stampede Hockey Club and Sioux Falls Fighting Pheasants Baseball Club.
- Larry Martin is the vice president of operations for ScoreBig, Inc., the first e-commerce website exclusively for the sale and distribution of undersold live event tickets. Prior to joining ScoreBig, Martin spent three years as the senior director of Team Marketing & Business Operations (TMBO) for the NBA, and was responsible for working with all NBA, WNBA and D-League teams in the areas of ticket sales, ticket operations, yield management, and new technology.
- Dan Migala currently is vice president of creative partnerships for the San Diego Padres, a position he has held since October of 2009. Migala has received praise from the sports marketing community after suggesting the Chicago White Sox change their game times to 7:11 p.m. to appease 7-Eleven, a potential sponsor. The idea was sold instantly, achieving many accolades including earning Migala a lifetime pass to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
- Dr. Roto is a long-time fantasy expert who has been featured on TV for his fantasy sports expertise. Additionally, he has been a competitor and commissioner in fantasy leagues for over 20 years winning numerous league championships. Dr.Roto can often be seen attending spring training games in Florida as well as NFL camps in the summer. He has many contacts in the industry and is privy to inside scoops that will put your team well on its way to winning a league championship.
- Dr. Donald Sabo is a recognized expert on gender relations and has published extensively on physical activity and health, gender equity in athletics, women’s sports, sport and masculinity and men’s violence. Sabo is former president of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, and a frequently invited speaker at colleges, universities, and conferences. He received the Women’s Sports Foundation President’s Award in May, 2001 and has appeared on many television shows.
- Dr. William A. Sutton, associate director of the DeVos Sport Business Management program at the University of Central Florida, teaches courses in sport marketing and sales and promotional management in sport, and serves as the internship coordinator for the program. In addition to his duties at UCF, Dr. Sutton is the founder and principal of Bill Sutton & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in strategic marketing and revenue enhancement for clients including the NBA, NHL, Orlando Magic and New York Yankees.