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AECOM Center for Sports Administration joins group dedicated to advancing women in sports

Wednesday, September 23 2020 06:00pm

Think tank will elevate female athletes, consumers, and executives

The AECOM Center for Sports Administration is joining The Collective Think Tank, an organization committed to women’s success in sports. This global consortium is dedicated to bringing together industry leaders and researchers to share data, insights, and information to elevate female athletes and consumers.   

“The AECOM Center for Sports Administration is committed to both advancing gender research in sport as well as using that research to promote opportunities for women in the industry,” said Matt Cacciato, executive director of the center. “Joining The Think Tank enables us to partner with others dedicated to the same goals.”   

The Think Tank’s launch comes a little over a year after Wasserman, a sports marketing and talent management group, launched The Collective, their women’s division. For the AECOM Center, joining The Collective Think Tank presented an opportunity for faculty and students to work together to advance women in the sports industry.

Heather Lawrence Benedict

“The AECOM Center for Sports Administration is a global leader in sport business education that has more than 50 years of history preparing the next generation of sport leaders,” said Dr. Heather Lawrence-Benedict, a professor in the Department of Sports Administration. “With Wasserman establishing The Collective Think Tank, the OHIO team of faculty and students are thrilled to collaborate with other leading institutions and Wasserman industry experts to take on projects and initiatives that move the sport industry forward, focusing on elevating female athletes, consumers, and executives.”

The Collective Think Tank is launching 10 research projects during their fall kickoff with topics that range from women’s purchasing power to effects of social justice to sexism. Students will lead several of the projects with faculty leading the remainder.

“All of the Wasserman Student Research Fellows are being tasked with contributing to the projects being conducted by The Collective Think Tank. They are expected to take calculated risks, make meaningful contributions, and be part of the projects from start to finish. Providing their work to Wasserman and the Faculty Research Fellows pushes them to further develop their professionalism, and expectations are high from all involved,” Dr. Lawrence-Benedict said.

Dr. Jim Strode, chair of the Department of Sports Administration, said he looks forward to the new insights that develop from the Wasserman Student Research Fellows’ involvement with the projects. He also spoke highly of Lawrence-Benedict’s involvement with The Think Tank. “Dr. Lawrence-Benedict’s experience leading and directing applied research projects, coupled with her outstanding academic background, make her a perfect fit for Wasserman’s initiatives,” he said.

The Think Tank will release several white papers, including How Gen Z and Millennial Women Will Own the Purse and Change the World, which will be published later this week. The group also will partner with espnW in October with a release on women sports fans.

Ohio University is one of ten university partners that have joined The Think Tank. Other partners include the University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of North Carolina, University of South Florida, Ryerson University (Canada), and University St. Gallen (Switzerland).