Sport Business

Friday, May 5, 2017 | Kylie Marshall

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Over spring break, while many students were lounging on the beach, 19 of Dr. Deborah Stroman’s students were touring universities, sports clubs and arenas in Dublin and Cologne.

This semester, Dr. Stroman teaches a global sport business course about the 500-billion-dollar sports business industry. In Europe, however, sport business is much less commercial, Dr. Stroman explained.

“Of course, they have to make money, but they do it for the pure love about what sport does for a community,” she said. “Sport [is] a tool to uplift and bring people together.”

A “product of the ACC,” Stroman played basketball at UVA during undergrad, then completed her Master’s at UNC while working as the assistant women’s basketball coach. After completing her PhD at Capella University and working for over three decades, Stroman returned to Chapel Hill as a professor.

Dr. Stroman works as the director of the Center of Sport Business, an affiliate of the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. She teaches MBAs and undergrads about sport marketing, business and economics, entrepreneurship and analytics. This semester, she is teaching two new courses, the global sport business course and a course for the MBAs on race, power and influence in organizations.

Dr. Stroman centers her research in the Center of Sport Business on two main pillars: analytics and impact.

Each year, Stroman hosts a Basketball Analytics Summit, bringing together professionals from all around the world. The flagship event of the Center, the Summit is a popular two-day conference that focuses on marketing, ticketing, sports science, entrepreneurship, fan engagement, among a range of other topics.

Sport Business

The impact pillar, however, emphasizes how sports influence society in terms of economics, equity and inclusion. This stimulus includes examining the role of race and gender in the vast sport business.

This month, on April 21, Stroman hosted the Center’s spring impact symposium about black athlete and financial matters entitled “Investing in Futures: The Complexity and Comfort of Black Athlete Philanthropy.” Featuring national speakers, former athletes, and academics, the audience enjoyed a very robust discussion and insights on this timely topic.

Next semester, Stroman will hold the fall symposium, “From High Tops to Pumps: The Evolution of Women in Sport Business.” This event on November 3 will analyze the state of women in the college and professional sport industry.

Clearly, Stroman is resolved to engage the UNC community on the power of sport. As a university community that loves champions, she has found the right spirit and resources.