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Published: December 18, 2017 Author: Julie Ciotola

Since 2014, the Richard P. and Joan S. Fox Professor of Business and Chair of Sports Administration Norman O’Reilly has conducted thorough research in the field of sports business and management while also bolstering OHIO’s world-renowned Department of Sports Administration.

Under this title O’Reilly shares years of professional experience and knowledge with OHIO’s College of Business. He was named one of Canada’s Five to Watch in sports business in 2013 by the Globe and Mail, one of Canada’s most-read daily newspapers.

O’Reilly has been on dozens of research teams, working with companies like Gatorade, PepsiCo and the Golf Association of Ontario. He worked with sponsors of the 2012 London Olympic Games to study the impact of their brands.

“I have a line of research around the Olympic Games and sponsorship and images,” O’Reilly said.  “We looked at the country hosting the games and how the images were sponsored. For that we worked with Coca-Cola.”

O’Reilly also studies youth involvement in sports, working towards devising effective tactics to encourage youth participation.

“It’s a huge problem out there with youth being less active,” he said. “So, I have worked on using marketing and business principles to get kids more active and healthy.”

Aside from his research, O’Reilly has served as a professor since 2000 at institutions in the United States, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand. He most recently taught at the University of Ottawa where he received a Media Excellence Award, which recognized the professor with the most influential media impact in 2010 to 2011.

O’Reilly said he is grateful to be working at OHIO’s College of Business, especially under the title of the Fox Professor of Business.

“Being here at Ohio University in sports management, where we have the number one program in the world, provides a huge platform to do stuff,” he said. “And we have alumni like the Foxes who are willing to support what you do. We are really lucky.”

The endowed Fox Professorship is a gift from alumni Richard Fox and his wife Joan. It provides a generous platform for awardees to study areas of interest in hopes of making significant advancements.

“The generosity of the Foxes has allowed us to recruit and retain talented faculty members,” said Hugh Sherman, dean of OHIO’s College of Business. “For example, the current holder of the Fox Professorship. Norman O’Reilly is leading research in the field of sports administration. That is a boost to the College of Business as a whole. The years of Rick’s and Joan’s generosity to the College of Business is remarkable and a model we seek in alumni giving relationships.” 

Richard Fox, a 1969 graduate of OHIO’s College of Business, established the Richard P. and Joan S. Fox Professor of Business and Chair of Sports Administration in 2003 with his wife, Joan. Joan Fox is an Athens, Ohio, native and friend of the University.

“My wife and I are both very committed to Ohio University and the College of Business,” Richard Fox said. “I have had a very successful career and we attribute a lot of it to the good foundational education I received at Ohio University.”

Another facet of the Fox Professorship is a commitment to leadership. Awardees guide and inspire students and fellow scholars, exhibiting both passion and professionalism. As chair of the acclaimed Department of Sports Administration, O’Reilly has had an opportunity to lead students and staff and improve the program.

“A big part of my role is to be a leader,” O’Reilly said. “In the future we are going global. We are launching international programs, executive education and exchanges. We are trying to stay ahead, and we’ve got big plans.”

After receiving the professorship, O’Reilly worked to build and maintain a relationship with the Foxes, updating them on research advancements and publications.

“Norm has visited us several times, so we’ve gotten to know him and he always sends us his books,” Richard Fox said. “We go through and understand the topics he is taking up. It has been a nice relationship. He has worked very hard at keeping in touch with us about what is going on with his career.”

The Foxes also have created the Richard and Joan Fox Scholarship in the College of Business.

O’Reilly will hold the Fox professorship position until fall 2020. 

Richard and Joan Fox

Photo courtesy of: Richard FoxDonors Richard and Joan Fox believe in the continued success of OHIO’s business programs.