Center for Sport Management

About Us

Local Games - Global Aims

The Center for Sport Management (CSM) engages in an interdisciplinary agenda reflecting the breadth and depth of the sport industry. The structure of the Center allows for the evolution of affiliated content-based mechanisms (e.g. Sport Leadership & Coaching Academy; Sport Diplomacy Initiative). These constituent mechanisms of the Center evolve in response to funding opportunities, specific research agendas, and ultimately, identified needs in the conduct of sport.


Our mission is to advance the study and practice of sport management in all of its dimensions. The Center will support substantive research initiatives and provide service to stakeholders in sport for the purpose of enhancing sport industry practice. Through knowledge discovery, synthesis, and application, the Center will serve as a positive change agent in sport.


  • Facilitate collaborative, interdisciplinary research on sport
  • Foster industry-academy interaction to enhance the knowledge of the sport industry
  • Promote professional development opportunities for sport managers
  • Enhance the professional preparation fo students in sport management by fostering excellence in teaching
  • Chronicle and archive the development of the sport industry
  • Enhance the visibility of the study of sport

The Center, through the application of research, can ultimately advance sport management practices. These objectives are intentionally broad, reflecting many of the areas of interest to be addressed through the Center. The Center's ability to engage throughout the breadth and depth of the sport industry through research and application will yield many mutually beneficial outcomes. The Center will focus on a balance between discovery and dissemination in an effort to improve the quality of sport. Research unveils the knowledge needed to improve sport industry practice. Therefore, the conduct and application of research is a central focus of the Center.

The Center is grounded in the concept that the research-oriented academy and the practitioner-oriented industry aren't dualistically separated, but interdependent partners in sport. As a result, the Center actively seeks to foster linkages between the sport industry and the academy. Facilitating connections between the academy and industry segments enhances both our academic understanding of the sport industry, and our ability to exchange functional knowledge and skills with practitioners. The Center for Sport Management is a vehicle to build permanent bridges.

Meet the Team

Dr. Bob Baker is the Director for the Center for Sport Management and an Associate Professor at George Mason University. Dr. Baker earned his doctorate from William & Mary, and his M.S. and B.S. from Penn State. He has had extensive experience in the sport industry. His research interests include professional preparation in sport management, the dynamic relationships among sport industry stakeholders, and sport for development and peace. Read more »

Professor Craig Esherick is the Associate Director for the center. As an undergraduate he was a scholarship basketball player at Georgetown University. He attended the Georgetown University Law Center and also was a graduate assistant basketball coach for two of those years. After graduating from Law School and passing the DC Bar, Professor Esherick became a full-time assistant coach at Georgetown for the men's basketball team. His tenure as an assistant lasted 17 and a half years and included a stint as the assistant basketball coach for the USA Olympic team that participated in the '88 Seoul Olympics. He became the head basketball coach at Georgetown University and held that position long enough to win 103 games. Read more »

Dr. Pamela Hudson Baker is Co-Principal Investigator and works as a full-time faculty member at George Mason University, Dr. Baker has taught a variety of special education courses, mentored graduate student research projects, and studied ways to facilitate the responsible inclusions of learners with special needs. She also coordinates an outreach program that takes Mason's special education programs into school-based settings and works as a Co-PI on a variety of grant funded projects. Read more »

Dr. Chun Jae (CJ) Park is an international program coordinator and a faculty member at George Mason University. Dr. Park received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park. He has been teaching at George Mason University for 18 years; Social Psychology of Recreation and martial arts courses. He published his research papers in the areas of the impacts of leisure participation on health, as well as articles and a book related to martial arts and well-being. Dr. Park is a Tae Kwon Do (TKD) Hall of Fame recipient and is a highly respected grandmaster, U.S. Grandmasters Society (2016). He obtained 9th degree black belts in TKD, Kukkiwon, and is a former World TKD Champion (1982, Ecuador). Dr. Park has been serving for many TKD organizations. He is a member of the board of directors of the World TKD HQs and is the President of the U.S. TKD Grandmasters Federation.

Niamh Connolly is the Program Coordinator for sports-related foreign groups on exchanges with the United States. She is responsible for organizing, scheduling, and managing programs from start to finish. Niamh graduated with her BS in Communications, Public Relations from Radford and earned her Masters in 2017 in Sport and Recreation Studies. She worked in the GMU athletic department for over 3 years before becoming the Program Coordinator for SportsUnited groups.  

Advisory Board