Richard P. and Joan S. Fox Professor of Business
Chair, Department of Sports Administration
College of Business
Dr. Norman O’Reilly chairs Ohio University’s nationally-ranked Department of Sports Administration in the College of Business. He is an accomplished scholar and active business professional whose research focuses on the business, marketing and financial aspects of the sports industry.
An active researcher, O’Reilly has published five books, 75 articles in refereed management journals and more than 150 conference presentations in the areas of sport management, sponsorship, tourism marketing, risk management, marketing, sport finance and social marketing. His books include two editions of “Sport Marketing, A Canadian Perspective,” an applied work on public private partnerships, and an upcoming book on Olympic and ambush marketing.
Using an empirical research approach, O’Reilly focuses on survey, interview and financial data collected from athletes, fans, consumers, clubs and financial statements. His work is applied in nature and strives to find new ideas in areas where industries, organizations and athletes are struggling where findings can be applied to real world experiences to solve real world problems. For example, his Ph.D. thesis, later published in a top management journal, outlines a process for sponsorship evaluation that has been used by organizations to gauge the effectiveness of their sponsorships.
O’Reilly is a student-centered educator, working diligently to provide students with ample opportunities to work for pay, gain good experience and network with potential employers in the field. Students are engaged in focused research partnerships with top professional clients such as the Columbus Blue Jackets, Gatorade and Rogers Media. He emphasizes an "active learning" educational model that allows students to become engaged in the organizations by participating in hands-on projects and involvement case studies.
As the department chair, O’Reilly is also implementing additional opportunities for the program to expand and flourish in the future, emphasizing growth, international expansion and diversification to maintain its ranking as one of the very top programs in sport business in the world. Along with implementing new programs and areas of study, he plans to expand opportunities for students and faculty to engage in the sports industry internationally through dual degree programs, faculty exchanges, and short-term student exchanges.
O’Reilly’s research has been twice funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He has won 11 Best Paper awards at conferences for his research and is the lead researcher on the Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study, a highlight of the annual Canadian Sponsorship Forum since 2007. On two occasions, O’Reilly has been a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University (2014, 2009-2010) and previously held Visiting positions at the School of Business at the University of New South Wales in Australia (2012-2013) and AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand (2007).
In 2013, O’Reilly was named one of the “Five to Watch” (Top 40 under 40 award) in Sport Business in Canada by the Globe & Mail. He is a lifetime Research Fellow of the North American Society of Sport Management, is frequently a keynote speaker at industry conferences and a regular columnist with Sport Business Journal. He is an active consultant and expert legal witness, working closely with North American industry and is frequently sought out by the media for his expertise.
In addition to academia, O’Reilly is an avid athlete, competing in triathlons, long-distance races, cross-country skiing events and ice hockey leagues and tournaments. He is the former captain of the University of Ottawa Gee Gee’s swim team and a member of the University of Waterloo OUA champion Nordic ski team. He has completed more than 250 triathlons, including six Ironman triathlons, and represented Canada at five long distance World Triathlon Championships, finishing as high as 17th in his age group. An accomplished mountaineer, he has ascended to the summit of Mount Aconcagua, the highest mountain in North and South America, and Mount Kenya, Africa’s second highest point. O’Reilly is also an avid world traveler, having visited more than 45 countries around the globe.
Areas of Expertise