The major focus of my research involves examining the nexus of sport and commerce, more specifically the evolution of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) relationship with international television networks. Bob Barney (Western University) and I (lead author) published a book entitled, The Gold in the Rings: The People and Events that Transformed the Olympic Games (Champaign-Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 2020). Through the use of biography and historical storytelling, we examine the emergence of television revenue and corporate sponsorship dollars as the economic fuel for the Olympic Movement under IOC Presidents Avery Brundage, Lord Killanin, Juan Antonio Samaranch, and Jacques Rogge. This book targets a general readership and builds on the research (Barney, Wenn and Scott Martyn) published in Selling the Five Rings: The IOC and the Rise of Olympic Commercialism (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2002, rev. ed., 2004). I am also lead author with these same colleagues on Tarnished Rings: The International Olympic Committee and the Salt Lake City Bid Scandal (Syracuse, NY, Syracuse University Press, 2011), a behind-the scenes exploration of the media crisis that enveloped the IOC, and the (ultimately successful) efforts of its leadership team to fend off threats to the IOC’s independence and autonomy.
I completed a two-year term as President of the North American Society for Sport History (2007-2009), and currently serve on the editorial boards of the Journal of Olympic Studies and the International Journal of the History of Sport. And, while I have a passion for research, there's no place I'd rather be than in the classroom. I appreciate the opportunity for interaction with the students in Laurier's Kinesiology and Physical Education program, and I enjoy facilitating opportunities for them to hone their research and writing skills, while providing lectures that help them to place sport and physical activity in historical context. And, at this time, I serve as the Department of Kinesiology’s Undergraduate academic advisor. I hold a MA in Physical Education (Western University, 1988) and a PhD in Exercise and Sport Science (Penn State University, 1993).
Nexus of sport and commerce, specifically in relation to the Olympic Movement.
Articles and Book Chapters: