Back to Academics SPORT MANAGEMENT

New Director of Sports Management

New Professor Leading Popular Sport Management Program

The pervasiveness of sport in modern society coupled with an interest by student-athletes’ in staying close to the industry after their playing days have resulted in a burgeoning major at Wilmington College: sport management.

With 105 students in the program this fall, sport management ranks third in popularity of majors at WC behind agriculture and education. Established in the late 1990s, the sport management program seeks to provide students with a practical learning environment that is rich in hands-on learning and other educational experiences. It is focused on developing wide-ranging leadership and technical skills that are relevant to the diverse careers in the sport management industry.

Program director Daniel Kelly wants students to graduate from the program with the skills, experiences and educational background that qualify them to be able to step into a sport management position.

“My personal vision for the program is for it to be focused on career preparation,” said Kelly, associate professor of sport management and the program’s first director. “We offer each student the ‘what you know’ and the ‘who you know’ to advance in sports business.”

Kelly has a Ph.D. in sport management from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Science in business management and Master of Science in sport studies from Miami University. He joined WC’s faculty after serving for six years in DeSales University’s Division of Business. He interned with HBO’s sport publicity department, the financial area of Time Warner’s boxing pay-per-view programming and in fundraising and event planning with the Anthony Munoz Foundation in Cincinnati.

Kelly, who also has studied and worked in England, Spain and France, understands students’ interest in the popular major. 

“I believe the sport management major offers students an opportunity to combine their passion and interest in sport with an exciting professional environment,” he said, noting they recently updated the program curriculum with courses expressly designed to help students navigate potential career paths.

“In the highly competitive sports industry, sports business skills, sports team experience and networking are all critical components,” he said.

Alumnus Nick Nicastro, a 2002 graduate and member of WC’s Athletics Hall of Fame, is the poster boy for the College’s sport management program. One of early majors, Nicastro has held positions with the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Yankees, New York Jets and, currently, the San Francisco 49ers.

“Wilmington College was a great experience. The small classes and student/teacher ratio allowed me to develop my communication skills to a much greater extent than had I attended a larger university,” he said. “My education at Wilmington College was critical in helping me land jobs with the Bengals, Yankees, Jets and, my current employer, the 49ers.”