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Emerging Issues and Trends in Sport Business cover
Series Editor

Norm O'Reilly
Email: [email protected]


The "Emerging Issues and Trends in Sport Business" series of books seeks to be the home of an impactful series of independent books that will explore the many interesting, relevant and practitioner-focused issues and trends facing the high-profile sport industry. Specifically, each book will address one of the many specific sport business contexts within the industry to provide relevant, practitioner-focused learning and knowledge to help further what we know about this fascinating business. In some cases, these books will be adopted for classroom use at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

In its entirety, the business of sports is an area of research and practitioner interest on the rise! Consider professional sport, Olympic sport, grassroots sport, participation sport, esports, gambling in sport, fantasy sport and more! The industry is global, formalizing and growing for a variety of reasons. Industry reports suggest that the industry will pass the half-trillion-dollar mark in its size in 2020. Billion-dollar clubs and $100 million player contracts are commonplace today. Even multi-billion-dollar clubs and half-billion-dollar player contracts!

And that is just the industry itself. Many of the world's largest and best-known brands invest large amounts in sport as sponsors to leverage the reach, celebrity, fandom and passion for sport to achieve their own business goals. Think about brands like Carlsberg, Nike, Adidas, Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, and Heineken, and sport-related images and associations immediately come to mind. Yes, sport reaches far beyond its events, facilities and personalities.

Perhaps the most powerful of sport properties are the sporting-mega-events that are cultural institutions. Examples such as the FIFA World Cup, the Olympic Games, the NFL's Super Bowl, the Rugby World Cup, the Tour de France sport and the Athletics World Championships are mega-events which are one of the few remaining cultural icons that draw the world together at a collective level. These will be core to many of the books in the series.

The digital age has also driven sport forward — fantasy, esports, gambling, social media athlete celebrity, streaming, digital sponsorship activations and so much more. These elements are both exciting for the future of sport and threatening to traditional sport.

The sport industry has been impacted severely by the global pandemic, COVID-19, accelerating many of these challenges and threats. Many parts of the industry have survived (e.g., major professional sport), a few have thrived (esports, sport gambling, sport investing), but most has suffered significantly, with the Olympic Games delayed a year and most amateur sport organizations, events and participation sport entities shut down or severely reduced.

The books that make up this series are designed to provide the reader with deep, rich insights into a particular aspect of the sport business, and to provide a rigorous framework from which to allow for better practice, better future research and contributions to what we know about the sport industry. Practitioner input as authors, as case studies, as deep examples and as interviewees will be commonplace.

Each book will be written by leading practitioners and/or academics on the topic with a dual outcome of improved understanding of the topic and relevance to those working in the field.


About the Series Editor

Norm O'Reilly is recognized as one of the leading scholars in the business of sports. He is currently Professor of Sport Management at the Gordon S Lang School of Business & Economics at the University of Guelph, a leading research university near Canada's largest city of Toronto, where he is the founding Director of the International Institute for Sport Business & Leadership at Guelph, a think-tank devoted to improving the sport business globally. Dr. O'Reilly is a full professor in the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management at Guelph, jointly appointed to the Department of Management (accounting steam).

He was previously the Richard P and Joan S Fox Professor of Business and Chair of the Department of Sports Administration at Ohio University's College of Business. During his tenure at Ohio University, its programs were consistently ranked amongst the best in the world according to Sport Business International's annual rankings, including Ohio's MSA program which was named the #1 sport business graduate program globally in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Dr. O'Reilly has expertise in a range of business topics, including analytics, marketing, sponsorship, social media, sport finance, social marketing, tourism management, and management education. He has authored or co-authored 14 books, 14 case studies in the Harvard/Stanford series, and more than 140 peer-reviewed journal articles. His books include the 2016 (1st Edition) and 2020 (2nd Edition) releases of Sports Business Management: Decision Making Around the Globe with George Foster and Tony Davila, and the 2015 book Global Sport Marketing: Sponsorship, Ambush Marketing and the Olympic Games, with Richard Pound, Rick Burton, Benoit Seguin and Michelle Brunette. At conferences, he has won 14 Best Paper awards and has more than 150 conference presentations to his credit. Dr. O'Reilly is the lead researcher on the Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study, a highlight of the annual Canadian Sponsorship Forum since 2007, currently in its 14th edition.

In 2015, Dr. O'Reilly was awarded the Career Achievement Award by the American Marketing Association's Sport Marketing Special Interest Group. His research has been recognized with a number of other awards over the years.

Prior to coming to his time at the Lang School and Ohio University, Dr. O'Reilly taught at the University of Ottawa, the David Falk Center for Sport Management at Syracuse University, the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, the School of Sports Administration at Laurentian University, and the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. He has previously held positions as school director, vice-dean and director of a research centre. In recent years, Dr. O'Reilly has taught courses in Athabasca University's MBA in Ice Hockey, the graduate program at the Russian International Olympic University in Sochi, sport business at the University of Bayreuth in Germany, and in a sport business certificate program in Mumbai, India.

Dr. O'Reilly works closely with industry. He was recognized in 2013 as one of the "Five to Watch" in sport business in Canada by the Globe and Mail and is a lifetime Research Fellow of the North American Society for Sport Management. In 2011, he was the recipient of the University of Ottawa's Media Excellence Award (for media coverage of his research). He is often interviewed on television around the world (NewsMax, CTV, CCTV, Bloomberg Business, TSN, Sportsnet and others) and comments regularly in major print media. For more than a decade, he has been minority owner and partner consultant Toronto-based agency, T1, where he has worked for clients including Nike, UFC, Pepsi, Nissan, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, and many more. He also acts as a specialist on legal cases and has sat on the boards of many sport organizations. Dr. O'Reilly was 'Assistant Chef de Mission' for the Canadian Paralympic Team headed to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, Brazil. In 2017, his work was highlighted publicly in the media as part of the Canadian Hockey League legal case around player compensation.

Dr. O'Reilly holds a PhD in Management from the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, a MBA from the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, a MA in Sports Administration from the University of Ottawa, and a B.Sc. (Kinesiology) from the University of Waterloo. He currently holds visiting/adjunct appointments in Canada, Germany,. the United States and Australia, and also holds the CPA Accounting Designation.

Prior to joining academia, Dr. O'Reilly had involvement as an administrator, including senior policy officer at Sport Canada, team manager and office manager at Triathlon Canada, and event manager for the 2008 Toronto Olympic Bid. In addition to his leadership role for Team Canada at the 2016 Paralympic Games, he has been a member of the 2004, 2008 and 2010 Mission Staff for the Canadian Olympic Committee at the Olympic Games, and attended the 2012 Olympic Games in a research capacity.