College of Business and Economics welcomes sport business industry leaders on campus to launch Canada’s first sports business institute

Posted on Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

Richard Pound

The University of Guelph’s College of Business and Economics have collaborated with the Department of Athletics to launch the International Institute for Sport Business and Leadership (IISBL), a global centre for research and teaching that will bring together scholars and industry leaders.

On Monday, the college welcomed the institute’s executive advisory board to campus, which includes industry leaders in sports marketing, branding, media, Olympians and Paralympians. The institute’s advisory board is chaired by former VP of the International Olympic Committee Richard Pound. Over a two-day workshop, the advisory board members discussed how the institute can become a globally-focused research institute for the sport management industry.


Members of the institute will work with industry to produce peer-reviewed research and train highly qualified personnel for the sport management industry. Research topics for IISBL members may include sponsorship evaluation, leveraging e-sports, fan engagement, sport tourism and globalization, and social media.

The institute is a collaboration between CBE and the Department of Athletics, led by renowned sport management researcher Norman O’Reilly. Scott McRoberts, Athletics Director, will serve as the associate director of the institute, alongside HFTM associate professor Lianne Foti, who will be the assistant director.

The new institute lands in the middle of a North American industry on track to hit $80 billion annually by 2022, said athletic department director Scott McRoberts.

“The data and information we get from the institute will help organizations with strategic decisions. There’s not a single sport organization that doesn’t have some type of analytics unit spitting out data to make short- and long-term decisions,” said McRoberts. “Sport-related businesses need the kind of analysis that can be provided by the academic world.”

More information about the International Institute for Sport Business and Leadership can be found at:

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