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Purpose & History


The purpose of the Society shall be to promote, stimulate, and encourage study, research, scholarly writing, and professional development in the area of sport management.

This statement of purpose means that the members of this Society are concerned about the theoretical and applied aspects of management theory and practice specifically related to sport, exercise, dance, and play as these enterprises are pursued by all sectors of the population.

In the furtherance of these aims and objectives, the Society shall endeavor to carry out the following functions:

  • Support and cooperate with local, regional, national, and international organizations having similar purposes.
  • Organize and administer meetings to promote the purpose stated above.
  • Issue appropriate proceedings and journals.

 The Society shall conduct its activities solely to promote the above-stated purpose, but this shall in no way be construed as an effort to bring about pecuniary profit.


Earle Zeigler, one of the founders of NASSM, has recently authored an e-monograph entitled: An Encounter with Management in Physical Activity Education and Sport. This historical review is available as a free download (PDF, 1.44MB).

On September 20, 1985, at the urging of Earle F. Zeigler, Robert Boucher, Janet Parks, and Beverly Zanger met in Windsor, Ontario to discuss convening a group of sport management academicians in order to identify common needs and concerns. After a productive discussion, they decided to invite colleagues from other Canadian and American sport management programs to join them and by October 4, interest had grown to such a point that Gordon Olafson, Garth Paton, Zeigler, Carl Schraibman, Joy DeSensi, Janet Koontz (Rutgers University), Ted Coates (Ohio State), and Rick Quain (Bowling Green) joined Boucher, Parks, and Zanger. From their discussion, debate, and dialogue, all the participants determined that they and their programs had more commonalties than differences, and they decided to invite others with common interests to join them in forming a professional organization. From these discussion groups, the North American Society for Sport Management was founded. By December 16, June Baughman, Terry Haggerty, Charles Higgins (Ohio) Pat Galasso, and Dennis Hastings (both of Windsor) joined the others and selected Kent State University (Ohio) as the site for the first NASSM conference.

By February 24, 1986, when P. Chelladurai joined the group, a slate of officers, with Boucher as President, had been elected, Olafson and Parks had been appointed Editors of the Journal of Sport Management, a constitution had been finalized, and a membership fee structure had been approved. Between April 25, 1986, when the new executive council met with Kent State's Carl Schraibman, Linda Sharp, and Jon McQuinn to preview the convention site, and Boucher's opening remarks to the first assembly on June 27, over 175 individuals had joined or expressed an interest in joining NASSM. Currently, at the time of its thirteenth convention, NASSM's membership continues to grow annually and the organization has evolved to become a model sport management professional affiliation.

     Recently, three interviews with the NASSM founders, NASSM presidents, and JSM Editors have been made available for online viewing by WBGU-TV, Bowling Green State University. They are provided here:

Oral History Project compliments of Dr. Jacquelyn Cuneen, Bowling Green State University (Edited on 3/13/02)

NASSM founders

1. Sport Management (North American Society for Sport Management)

1.1 Function

The purpose of the North American Society for Sport Management(NASSM) is to promote, stimulate, and encourage study, research, scholarly writing, and professional development in the area of sport management (broadly interpreted). Members of the Society are concerned about the theoretical and applied aspects of management theory and practice specifically related to sport, exercise, dance, and play as these enterprises are pursued by all sectors of the population. The Society endeavors to support and cooperate with local, regional, national, and international organizations having similar purposes and organizes and administers meetings to promote its purposes.

1.2 The body of knowledge

NASSM recognizes an essential common body of knowledge in sport management that is cross-disciplinary and relates to management, leadership, and organization in sport; behavioral dimensions in sport; ethics in sport management; sport marketing; communication in sport; sport finance; sport economics; sport business in the social context; legal aspects of sport; sport governance; and sport management professional preparation.

1.3 Research Methodology

NASSM's official research journal is the Journal of Sport Management. The journal embraces research focusing on the theoretical and applied aspects of management related to sport, exercise, dance, and play. Journal research focuses on sport management in a variety of settings such as professional sport, intercollegiate and interscholastic sport, health/sport clubs, sport arenas, and community recreational sports.

The Journal of Sport Management encourages and supports research that is both quantitative and qualitative in nature and uses standard methodologies and analytical procedures. However, it embraces research based on the appropriateness of the methods for the problem being studied rather than prescribing that certain methods are the only ones suitable for the study of sport management. Laboratory and highly controlled field experiments may be appropriate for the study of certain sport management issues as are field studies, surveys, case studies, observational methods, and field evaluation approaches. Studies using theoretical constructs, research that moves toward theory development, and inquiries that link theory with practice are especially encouraged. Studies without a theoretical base are also valued to the extent that they contribute to an understanding of sport management.

Studies deriving from historical, psychological, philosophical, socio-cultural, and other perspectives are featured in the Journal of Sport Management. Typical research interests focus on topics such as leadership, motivation, communication, organization, ethics, marketing, professional preparation, and financial administration related to sport and exercise. The journal invites research presenting new and/or controversial ideas as well as those applying traditional concepts.

1.4 Relationship to Practice

The majority of NASSM"s members are sport management educators who teach, research, and serve their individual institutions. Within that realm, sport management programs seek and maintain relationships with sport enterprise for the purposes of analyzing the industry, cooperating in field-based needs (e.g., research, analysis of problems), and cultivating field experience/education sites for students" practical performances (i.e., practica and internships).

Sport enterprise/industry calls on various NASSM members and their institutions for a variety of purposes including assistance in personnel matters (e.g., practica, internships, entry-level employees) and various other professional needs (e.g., computer applications, statistical consulting, audience assessments, needs assessments, strategic planning).

2. Information Sources

2.1 Journals

NASSM's official scholarly journal is the Journal of Sport Management. The journal is published bimontly in January, March, May, July, September, and November. Certain of these issues may be special issues. The Journal of Sport Management is indexed in Leisure, Recreation and Tourism Abstracts, Sport Search, Sport Database, Physical Education Index, Sports Documentation Monthly Bulletin, Sport Discus, Focus on: Sports Science & Medicine, Research Alert, and Faxon Finder.

2.2 Reference books, encyclopedias, etc.

NASSM endorses, with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), a sport management program/curriculum approval process. A booklet outlines the program approval mission, process, and protocol and a registry lists those institutions that have been designated as approved programs:

  • National Association for Sport and Physical Education/North American Society for Sport Management. (1993). Sport management program standards and review protocol. Reston, VA: Author.
  • National Association for Sport and Physical Education/North American Society for Sport Management.  (1999). Sport management program review registry. Reston, VA: Author.

For more book information (including ordering information) contact NASPE at:

2.3 Book series

NASSM does not officially sponsor or endorse any series of books, but, the Sport Management Library, published by Fitness Information Technology, Inc. (Morgantown, WV, USA) contains several books addressing the specific curriculum content areas in NASPE/NASSM Program Approval (see 2.2).

2.4 Proceedings

NASSM does not publish proceedings from its annual conference.

NASSM's conference abstracts are published in printed form and on the World Wide Web. Typically, the publication contains over 100 abstracts of scholarly presentations delivered in oral, poster, symposium, roundtable, or workshop format.

A specially-featured distinguished scholarly lecture is delivered regularly at the NASSM conference by the Earle F. Zeigler Lecture Award recipient. Subsequently, the lecture is printed in the Journal of Sport Management.

2.5 Data banks

NASSM does not officially sponsor or endorse any data banks but many sport management professionals refer students and colleagues to the following data banks, among others:

  • University of Connecticut Laboratory for Leisure, Tourism & Sport for free reference lists in numerous sport-related areas.
  • Sport Information Resource Center for information/collections addressing sports, fitness and related fields.
2.6 Internet sources (Web sites, list serves, etc.) 

The Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of New Brunswick (Canada) maintains a NASSM Listserve. The Listserve address is: SPORTMGT@UNB.CA

Information about the Journal of Sport Management is available through its publisher, Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.

Information regarding NASSM is currently posted on the Internet. For information or concerns regarding the NASSM Website, please contact the NASSM web administrator.

Additional information about NASSM activities is available periodically at the Sport Management Gateway maintained by Human Kinetics Publishers.

3. Organization Network

3.1 International level

NASSM maintains a close relationship and fully supports the activities of other sport management scholarly and professional organizations including but not limited to the European Association for Sport Management (EASM) and the Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand (SMAANZ).

NASSM is a supporter and regular contributor to the Global Sport Management Newsletter published by the Sport Management Program at Mount Union College (Ohio, USA).

3.2 Regional level

NASSM has no official affiliation with any regional-level associations, but, fully supports the activities of several regional organizations with interests in sport management such as the district- and state-level associations of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD).

3.3 Examples from specific countries

NASSM has an official affiliation with NASPE, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (see 2.2). NASPE is an association of AAHPERD.

AAHPERD sponsors a Sport Management Council whose function is to review, solicit, and plan sport management-related sessions for AAHPERD's annual national convention.

3.4 Specialized centres

NASSM does not officially sponsor or endorse any specialized centers, but, many NASSM members and affiliates are associated with Centers and Institutes across North America:

  • Laboratory for Leisure, Tourism & Sport (University of Connecticut) is a training center for doctoral students, provides a working lab where both academic and market forms of research are conducted and promotes a think-tank environment in which to pursue and exchange ideas and viewpoints.
  • The Society for the Study of Legal Aspects of Sport and Physical Activity - The Society addresses legal aspects of sport and physical activity within both the public and private sectors.
  • Sport Marketing Research Team of the Bureau of Tourism and Recreation Research (Illinois State University) conducts research for sporting events and organizations, hosts a sport tourism marketing conference, and delivers course instruction via the Internet. 
  • Forum for Sport & Event Management and Marketing (The George Washington University) conducts research and publishes material in the area of sport and event management and marketing.  
  • International Institute for Tourism Studies (The George Washington University) conducts research in the area of sport tourism and organizes an annual international conference on sport tourism (TEAMS: Travel, Events, and Management in Sports). 
  • Sport Alliance of Ontario provides business support services to Ontario sport associations, leadership training to sport volunteers, and coordinates delivery of Canada"s National Coaching Certification Program in Ontario.  
  • Office for the Study of Sport and Diversity (Bowling Green State University) produces educational materials, such as videotapes and audiotapes, and supports other activities associated with teaching, research, and/or service that hold promise for increasing the understanding of sport as it is experienced by people of differing genders, races, ethnicities, ages, abilities, sexual orientations, and social classes.
  • Warsaw Sports Marketing Center (Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon) is dedicated to the study of sports marketing (i.e., sponsorship, licensing, communications, sports marketing law, consumer behavior) from both a theoretical and practical/"street smarts" perspective. 
  • Bureau of Sport & Leisure Commerce (University of Memphis) provides professional assistance to sport and leisure organizations in educational, experiential, and analytical needs of the field; delivers professional seminars; designs, executes, and analyses research studies; develops and executes market plans; gives event and facility management support.  
  • Sport Marketing Research Institute (University of Northern Colorado) provides all levels of sport organizations with assistance by having graduate students conduct market research.  
  • Center for Sport Management (Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University) hosts lectures, continuing education and professional development opportunities, and provides research expertise for the sport industry in the NY/NJ metropolitan area.
3.5 Specialized international degree programmes

NASSM does not officially sponsor or endorse any international degree programs, but, it supports global sport management education efforts. NASSM members from several institutions in North America have arranged academic exchanges or study abroad programs with numerous world-wide educational agencies/organizations. Many NASSM members lecture or teach courses periodically as visiting professors in countries outside of North America.

4. Appendix Material

4.1 Terminology

While NASSM does not officially endorse any specialized terminology, it recognizes that sport management, in both its academic discipline and professional practice, is highly interdisciplinary, thus, many facets of it use unique terminology/accurate language as a function of particular foci of attention. Interested persons should examine academic and professional literature related to specific fields in order to determine particular characteristics of terminology for that field.

4.2 Position Statement (s)

NASSM operates according to the following canons or principles:

  1. That sport managers shall (a) hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of individuals; perform services only in areas of competence; issue public statements in an objective and truthful manner; seek employment only where a need for service exists; maintain high standards of personal conduct; strive to become and remain proficient in professional practice and in the performance of professional functions; and act in accordance with the highest standards of professional integrity.
  2. That professionals shall (a) hold as primary their obligations and responsibilities to students/clients; be a faithful agent or trustee when acting in a professional matter; (b) make every effort to foster maximum self-determination on the part of students/clients; (c) respect the privacy of students/clients and hold in confidence all information obtained in the course of professional service; and, (d) ensure that private or commercial service fees are fair, reasonable, considerate, and commensurate with the service performed and with due respect to the student/clients to pay.
  3. That professionals' ethical responsibilities to employers/employing organizations are characterized by fairness, non-malfeasance, and truthfulness.
  4. That professionals (a) treat colleagues with respect, courtesy, fairness, and good faith; (b) relate to the students/clients of colleagues with full professional consideration, (c) uphold and advance the values and ethical standards, the knowledge, and the mission of the profession; (d) take responsibility for identifying, developing, and fully utilizing established knowledge for professional practice; and (e) shall, when engaged in study and/or research, be guided by the accepted convention of scholarly inquiry.
  5. That professionals shall (a) promote the general welfare of society; (b) regard professional service to others as primary; and (c) report minor and major infractions by colleagues to the appropriate committee of the professional society when and where such a mechanism exists.
4.3 Varia
4.3.1 Sport Management Program Approval

As of 1999-2000, 14 American undergraduate sport management programs have received NASPE/NASSM curriculum approval (see 2.2), 10 programs have received master"s curriculum approval, and one program has received doctoral curriculum approval. There are 29 institutions/programs undergoing current review or registered to undergo future review.

4.3.2 NASSM Archives

NASSM maintains a comprehensive Archives within the Archival Collections at the Bowling Green State University (Ohio, USA) Libraries. The NASSM Archives contain the presidential papers of all past NASSM executives as well as a number of oral (video) histories (e.g., conversation among the NASSM founders, term summaries from past-Presidents, historical perspectives delivered by the Journal of Sport Management Editors).

4.4 Free statement

P. Chelladurai, in various literature, defined sport management as a field concerned with the coordination of the production and marketing of sport services (which have been broadly classified as participant services and spectator services). Such coordination is achieved through the managerial functions of planning, organizing, leading, and evaluating. Thus, sport management, as an area of scientific study and professional preparation, addresses these functions within the specific environment of sport enterprise.

NASSM was the first scholarly organization formed to meet the unique interests of persons within sport management academe (scientific study and professional preparation). NASSM"s first yearly conference was held in 1986. The conference is held during the first week of June each year and rotates sites between Canada and the USA.

The Journal of Sport Management Volume 1, Number 1 was published in 1987 and has grown to be a respected scholarly quarterly. NASSM"s membership, conference delegation, and scholarly programs continue to grow annually. NASSM has been used as a model for other sport management professional affiliations and its founders and past executives have offered valuable assistance to international sport management scholars wishing to start their own international, national, or regional organizations.


This text is from NASSM's entry in the 2000 Vade Mecum, a directory of sport sciences. Vade Mecum is published by the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education. NASSM's entry was written by 2000 NASSM former President, Jacquelyn Cuneen and is reprinted for NASSM WWW usage by permission of the ICSSPE.