Lisa Delpy Neirotti is the director of the MS in Sport Management Program and an associate professor of Sport Management at the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB). She has been a professor of sport, event, and tourism management at the George Washington University for more than 31 years. “When they asked me to start the program, I moved here from California and said ‘I’ll give you two years’ and 31 years later, here I am.”
In that time Dr. Delpy Neirotti has established a strong academic program at both the undergraduate and graduate level and also developed the Sport Philanthropy Executive Certificate. She also directs the GW Green Sports Scorecard to help increase the sustainability of sport facilities, organizations and events, and serves on the faculty of the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Master's in Management of Sports Organizations (MEMOS).
Beyond her responsibilities at GW, Dr. Delpy Neirotti works with a number of sport event organizations, sponsors, and professional teams to conduct economic and market research studies including the Olympic Games, World Cup, BNP Paribas Open, Citi Bank Tennis Tournament, Rock and Roll Marathon, Marine Corp Marathon, College Football Bowl Games, among others.
SBRnet interviewed Dr. Delpy Neirotti recently and here are her thoughts on a number of important topics for sports business academics.
A full audio transcript of the interview can be found here. https://youtu.be/6D4jwC6KSsQ
DATA AND RESEARCH
“I teach my students that the first thing they need to do is get the facts and market research is the best way to do that. In our sports marketing class, students need to write a sponsorship proposal and we use Nielsen and SBRnet. We teach the students to pair a company’s target audience with a sport’s audience and make sure there’s a story to tell on why a sponsorship is valuable.
“We work with students on forming a hypothesis and taking the time and effort to develop a survey that is not biased. It’s common for us to do up to four revisions. Our students learn by doing research for clients in sporting goods, betting and software. They conduct the research and present the findings back to the client. We believe in a very hands-on approach.”
SPORTS TRAVEL AND ATTENDANCE
“It’s going to bounce back. Everyone is itching to go and once they get back into it, it will steamroll. People who like sports are more resilient. Look at what happened after 9/11. Sports fans were the first to start traveling again in large numbers.”
GREEN SPORTS FACILITIES
“Ten years ago, the NCAA and the Olympics began adding language into their documents about reducing their footprint and trying to be more sustainable. Consumers care about this. athletes care about it. It’s a trend and will become more important.”
SPORTS CAREER ADVICE
“In all sectors, data analysis is becoming essential. You have to take at least a basic statistics class, understand the analysis of data and have strong excel skills. In marketing, you have to understand social media. If you want to be in marketing you need to fully understand social media. That means Facebook ads, google ads and A/B testing of ads.
There are more jobs in sales than anywhere else. Ticket sales is a great entry level job and sponsorship sales is fascinating. You get to know the business of companies, how they operate and how they make money. Revenue is so important. If you work in sales, salaries are higher the more revenue you generate.
Youth sports is also a great place to start your career, whether it’s at an ice rink or a sports complex because you learn about everything from operations to sponsorship sales. And jobs like that lead to other positions.
Working in non-profit organizations also helps prepare you for community relations and foundation positions with teams and athletes.