Ohio University

Ohio University and AECOM Extend Naming Partnership for the AECOM Center for Sports Administration

Published: December 14, 2020 Author: Staff reports

The four-year renewal celebrates a decade of excellence and partnership between Ohio University and AECOM

The AECOM Center for Sports Administration at Ohio University, the first of its kind in sports business education, announced Monday that AECOM, the center’s namesake, has made an additional financial gift to the Center that will extend over a four-year period.

“The AECOM Center at Ohio University strives to lead in the world of sport business education and research, and I know our faculty and staff look forward to continuing to do so with AECOM for many years to come,” said President M. Duane Nellis.

A respected leader in the world of sport business education and research, the AECOM Center for Sport Administration and Master of Sport Administration program currently hold Sports Business’ top global ranking for post graduate sports degrees and is represented by alumni from six continents. Extending the partnership continues to bring one of the leaders in sports business education together with one of the top sport venue design firms in the world. 

“In the broadest sense, partnering with a global industry leader like AECOM allows us to enhance all of our program’s international elements and participate at the highest levels across the entire sports ecosystem,” said Matt Cacciato, executive director of the AECOM Center for Sport Administration. 

The relationship with AECOM extends beyond philanthropy and focuses on improving the student experience within the Center and its academic programs. AECOM directly supports several graduate assistantships with the Center for Sports Administration that are crucial to the Center’s success. 

“To have such a respected leader in sports business education contributing to the center’s mission is invaluable,” said Hugh Sherman, dean of the College of Business. “The College of Business and the AECOM Center for Sport Administration are grateful to AECOM for its continued support of our outstanding students.” 

Over the years, AECOM executives Jon Niemuth, Steve Terrill, Greg Brown, and Sports Ad alumni Mark Payne (PMSA ’17), have supported the Center’s curriculum through guest speaker opportunities and hands-on learning experiences. Niemuth also accepted an AECOM Executive Fellowship with the Center this summer. OHIO students and alumni have benefitted greatly from having access to AECOM facility projects once they are out in the field as business professionals. 

“From the beginning of our relationship with Ohio University, we have seen the opportunity to grow and evolve the development of sports industry leaders,” said Jon Niemuth, vice president and director of AECOM’s sports practice. “This extension reaffirms our commitment to leading the transformation of how the sports industry will evolve as the world embraces a post-pandemic environment by integrating our industry expertise to forge a new forward-looking model.”

Since the origin of the relationship in 2008, AECOM and the Center for Sport Administration have partnered at a professional level as well. The two organizations have worked together on a wide variety of research topics, including a College Athletic Facilities study, published by several news organizations, that used survey results from athletic directors to predict facility investment in college athletics over the next five years.

“As an alumnus of this program, I’m very proud that AECOM is able to continue this partnership. Those in the program have greatly benefitted from the access AECOM provides to its projects once they are in the field as business professionals,” said Mark Payne, business development director for AECOM’s sports practice. “We have a special place in our hearts for Ohio University and this partnership. We’re Ohio family.”

AECOM also continues to support the Center for Sports Administration in many of its efforts, including as an annual sponsor for Ohio University’s Sports Industry Symposium each May, alumni receptions at several major sporting events, and in many other endeavors in and out of Athens, Ohio.