My Approach to Teaching and Learning
In my sport economics course, I developed a hands-on, interactive learning experience using real fantasy sports players that enables students to learn economic principles, decision-making, and real-world problem-solving. Students participate in an interactive economics-of-sport simulation for their semester-long group project, managing a hypothetical franchise. They invest millions of “dollars” starting their professional sport franchise where they must balance on-field performance (winning) with financial success (making money). Then they must collectively bargain a league constitution that details how league revenues will be distributed and costs controlled to ensure the league is financially viable, competitive, and appealing to consumers. Students build their on-field teams through a competitive auction of real-life fantasy football players, offering guaranteed contracts worth millions of dollars to acquire successful players. Before each week, teams collect broadcast revenue from the league and set stadium ticket and concession prices where fan demand depends on the team’s performances. Teams encounter costly unforeseen obstacles, testing students’ cooperation, financial acumen, and leadership principles. Students demonstrate sports business knowledge by preparing a business plan, conducting financial forecasting, developing ticket pricing models, and completing an annual review that includes player analytics, financial modeling, and competitive balance analysis. Which students can start and manage a sports business that generates operating revenue above their costs of labor (players), capital infrastructure (stadiums), and debt financing (initial investment)? Which can use in-depth sport analytics and modeling to assemble a cost-effective fantasy football team that can win the championship? Can any do both?
My Teacher-Scholar Journey
My research and teaching advance a dialectic understanding of the relationship between the sport industry and wider society, considering the sporting industry as both constituted and constituting element of the broader social formation where it is located. I am to illuminate how, why, and to what effect sport becomes organized, commercialized, celebritized, and spectacularized to serve wider social, economic, political, cultural and technological forces and relations of late-capitalism. My teaching, research, and scholarship encourage scholars and students to think about how global cultures of the moving body — as produced in various sport, athletic, and performance-based contexts — create identity, power and knowledge, equality and inequality, disparate health outcomes, and opportunity and limitations for various populations within sport-related industries. My research critically examines the geopolitical economy of global sport with particular focus on the political economy of sport mega-events, the geopolitics of international sport, and sport stadiums and urban development. My teaching reflects research that advances the critical and theoretical study of the global sport industry, especially the complex relationship between sport and the various facets of early 21st-century life. Students examine the global forces influencing the sport industry, critically analyze the meaning of sport for others and oneself, and rethink complex issues and events in sport. They then examine the global and local complexities of the global sport marketplace by enrolling in an annual short-term, faculty-led study abroad program — New Zealand (January) and London (Spring Break). Since 2016, I’ve taken more than 250 U.S. students abroad.
Knowledge is Power
“Miami University is truly committed to providing global and intercultural learning experiences for students. Nearly half of all students participate in a study abroad/away experience at some point during their undergraduate studies. In serving as a program director for two annual faculty-led study abroad programs, I get to see firsthand how students use their study abroad/away experiences to further their interest in, and knowledge of, global civil society and become engaged cultural citizens.”
Ph.D. University of Otago (New Zealand)
MBA Towson University/University of Baltimore
B.S. Towson University
More About Me
I study the cultural and political economy of sport, especially the geopolitics of international sport mega-events. My current research projects examine the political economy of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the United States.