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Mission Bell Media publishes print and digital media for the library market with a focus on leadership. Publishing authoritative and empowering leadership content for libraries worldwide.

On Leadership

Dr. Jim Reese on Sports Leadership

Rolf Janke

We’re happy to introduce the first post from one of our general editors. First up to bat is Dr. Jim Reese, co-editor of Sports Leadership: A Concise Reference Guide. Here, Dr. Reese gives us an insider look at the reference work and sports leadership issues in academia, research and pop culture. It’s an exciting time for sports management and leadership programs, which continue to grow at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Name:  James T. Reese Jr., Ed.D.

Professional Title: Associate Professor

Organization/University: Drexel University

How significant is the topic of sports leadership in the academic curriculum for sports marketing and sports management programs?

The topic is so important that we have courses in sport leadership built into the curriculum at Drexel University in all of our programs including the undergraduate, graduate, and graduate online. Students in our programs are the future leaders in sport. Exposure to the topic of sport leadership could inspire students to consider leadership positions in a variety of areas such as professional sports, interscholastic athletics, intercollegiate athletics, sport governing bodies, non-profit organizations, or even positions in youth sports.

Looking at Sports Leadership A Concise Reference Guide, in what ways is this work a valuable research tool for academic libraries?

Sports Leadership A Concise Reference Guide will definitely be a valuable resource tool for academic libraries since few sport related reference tools currently exist. There is a very useful online resource called Sport Discus that contains a combination of periodicals and academic journal articles. SportBusiness Journal and SportBusiness Daily are also great resources available for a monthly subscription fee. Sports Leadership A Concise Reference Guide contains approximately 100 articles written by 80 different authors focusing on sport leadership in the areas of ethics, leadership among athletes, coaching and managing, sport business, sport organizations and sport education.  Many contributors to the book are experts in their field of study. It is rare to find so much sport related expertise located in one publication at an affordable price. Public or institutional libraries would provide sport management students, or anyone interested in researching sports, with an abundance of valuable information located in one resource.   

What directions do you see sports related academic coursework at the university level moving?  

In my opinion, top sport management programs across the nation, that haven’t already done so, will begin focusing on sales courses in the near future. At Drexel University, we have designed our curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate levels to incorporate classes to prepare students for careers in sport ticket sales. The reason is simple. Most of the entry-level jobs in sport are either in ticket sales or have a sales component. Some sport management programs have been focusing on ticket sales for years. Those that do not adapt their programs in the near future to include ticket sales training will find themselves left behind.

In the contemporary sports arena who do you think is the epitome of sports leadership today? Why?

In my opinion, Adam Silver is currently doing a fantastic job in his capacity as commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was recently named Executive of the Year at the 2015 Sports Business Awards. This past season, from a business perspective, the NBA set a number of league records. The recent NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors was the most watched finals since Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls beat the Utah Jazz in the 1998 Finals. In addition, in his first real test as the new commissioner, his handling of the Donald Sterling controversy earned him universal praise and support, not just from the NBA community, but nationwide.  So far, Silver seems to be doing everything right. 

Thank you, Dr. Reese for your time, expertise and insight.