Daily News

Department of Sport Management at UMass Amherst to Mark 50 Years

AMHERST — The McCormack Department of Sport Management in the Isenberg School of Management at the UMass Amherst will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a special weekend full of events, June 10-12. The celebration will include a golf tournament, dinner, multiple gatherings and presentations, including a panel discussion among high-profile alumni and industry executives on Title IX.

Events for the weekend include presentations on the latest research by the faculty of the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management, a presentation by the McCormack archivist, a celebration dinner, and a Title IX panel.

Title IX is the federal civil rights law passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any other education program that receives funding from the federal government.

“We’re excited to celebrate this big milestone with many of the department’s friends, graduates, and current and former faculty members,” said Professor Steve McKelvey, current chair of the department. “A big part of the success of the McCormack Department of Sport Management is our strong and broad network. Our community includes superstars in the sport industry who are always willing and excited to mentor, advise and engage with students and young alumni. This reunion event is a chance to get everyone on campus together to reminisce about our school days while also talking seriously about the challenges of the sport business.”

Since its founding as the department of sport studies in 1971 with a focus on the history, philosophy, psychology and sociology of sport, the department has over the past five decades evolved to fully embrace the business of sport and is now housed in the Isenberg School of Management. Its faculty members are known for conducting award-winning research, and its students appreciate the commitment to experiential learning. McCormack alumni remain engaged and involved with the school and include numerous sport industry executives in C-suite positions.

Sport industry leaders who will be attending the reunion events include:

Dr. Bernie Mullin, who spearheaded the program’s evolution from “sport studies” to a sport business curriculum; Glenn Wong, long-time department chair; Bill Hubbard, chairman, Tokio-Marine HCC, the world’s largest insurer of major sporting events; Jeff Price, chief commercial officer, PGA; Burke Magnus, president, ESPN; David Wright, chief marketing officer, U.S. Soccer Federation; Nancy Gonsalves, associate director, U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee; Adina Erwin, executive vice president, BSE Global; Jeffrey Pollack, most recently president and CEO, XFL; and Jeff Twiss, vice president, Boston Celtics

The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management was first founded in 1971 by Professors Harold VanderZwaag and Guy Lewis as the department of sport studies. Over the past 50 years, the department has evolved to embrace the business of sport and was among the first sport management programs to be housed within a business school.

The program started to develop its business focus in the late 1970s, when professor Bernie Mullin was hired to teach marketing and other business-related courses in 1977. Professor Glenn Wong, who chaired the department from 1987-98, was brought on board in 1979 to teach the program’s first sports law courses, and some were the first of their kind for the sport industry. In 2001, the department created a first-of-its-kind MBA-master’s degree in sport management. In 2002, through the efforts of then-department chair Lisa Masteralexis, the department moved into the Isenberg School of Management. In 2010, it was renamed the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management after the IMG founder.