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Associate Professor honored by Sport Management Society

Janet Kiplinger Ciccone
July 31, 2017

“Dr. Turner is the reason why I exceeded every educational dream a first-generation college student could have by earning a PhD in sport management from The Ohio State University.”

These words from Emily Newell (’13 MA, ’16 PhD), now an assistant professor of sport management at Georgia Southern University, offer one of the many reasons why Brian Turner, associate professor of sport management, was presented with the Distinguished Sport Management Educator Award by the American Society for Sport Management on June 3.

Turner is known by his students and faculty colleagues alike for his unwavering commitment to student learning at all levels. “He is a ‘student’ of teaching,” wrote nominator, former colleague and alumna Janet Fink, the Mark McCormack Professor of Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts.

“His teaching is creative and innovative, he uses a variety of teaching methods and strategies to enhance student learning, yet he is always pedagogically sound in his teaching methods.”

Donna Pastore, professor of kinesiology at EHE, said, “Brian not only contributes to this institution’s objective to provide unparalleled and cutting-edge research, but he also significantly and positively influences the student experience via high-quality mentoring and teaching.”

All of Turner’s nominators emphasized that his student evaluation scores are consistently among the highest possible. This is because, as Pastore wrote, “he has the unusual ability to motivate his students and establish positive rapport through his instruction.”

A mentor beyond the classroom

Turner is particularly respected by students as a mentor and advocate beyond the classroom. Current students and alumni now working in industry or academia praise the unswerving support he provides.

He advises the student sport management club, plans educational outings and hosts alumni events. He coordinates a host of other tactics designed to augment learning.

For instance, he recently took his master’s of sport management students to Indianapolis to visit the NCAA headquarters. He arranged for John Bugner (front row in feature photo, second from right), ’09 MA, who is currently assistant director of Championships and Alliances, to host them.

They heard NCAA staff members speak on topics including championships, educational programs, enforcement, and financing. Because stadium management also is a potential career for students, Turner saw to it that they toured Lucas Oil Stadium.

Study: Students’ apparel is clue to final score

Turner is known for his efforts to immerse students in the research process. He also continues to conduct research with many of them after graduation.

His influence with alumni is illustrated by an article he co-authored with former doctoral advisee Jonathan A. Jensen (’15 PhD) in the Journal of Sport Management, “Forty Years of BIRGing: New Perspectives on Cialdini’s Seminal Studies.”

Turner and Jensen enlisted three other EHE sport management alumni – Jeffrey James, Chad Siefried and Christopher Greenwell – as well as four academic peers in sport management at different universities, to work on the research and article.

The study showed that at the first class meeting after a university football team win, students were more than twice as likely to wear their team’s apparel.

For a lost football game, in contrast, students were 55 percent less likely to wear their team’s apparel after a loss.

The authors made the news by demonstrating the sport phenomenon called BIRGing, or basking in reflected glory. Their study replicated one of the field’s most foundational theories advanced by Robert Cialdini in 1973, now considered a classic study in sport consumer behavior.

An educator who invests in students’ lives

Turner, who was named a Research Fellow by the North American Society for Sport Management in 2007, appreciates this latest recognition:

It is great to be recognized for the work I have done as an educator. I will be entering my 30th year of education this fall, having started as a middle school math teacher in Waco, Texas, in 1988. Winning this award allowed me to reflect on how lucky I am to be able to influence lives and help students pursue their dreams.

Alex Gleitman (’09 BS, ’10 MA), who nominated Turner for the award from the American Society for Sport Management, is currently a national account executive for 247Sports in New York. He summed up why Turner received the 2017 award:

Dr. Turner is an excellent professor who is innovative in the classroom, provides a challenging yet rewarding environment for his students, is committed to professional development and embodies everything The Ohio State University and the field of sport management is about.

It is because of these qualities that he is nominated for this award, but it is how he has inspired, guided and shown a true time and emotional investment in so many students’ lives that he deserves to win this award.


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