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The Professor Is In: Lynn Kahle

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This month, Lynn Kahle, PhD, talks to Opportunitas about the future of sports marketing, and how Pace’s sports marketing program can capitalize on industry and societal trends.

Professor Lynn Kahle, PhD, joined Pace as a full-time faculty member earlier this year, and is currently the director of the sports marketing program. This month, we talk to Kahle about changes in the sports marketing business, what sets Pace apart, and the intersection between sports and psychology. 

You’re in charge of the sports marketing program at Lubin. What are your goals for the program?

I hope that we can grow the sports marketing major, and that we can increase interest—it’s a fun topic, a topic with real careers associated with it. I was previously at the University of Oregon, and every year we’d bring students for a week to New York City, because there’s so much going on here. My observation has been that universities in New York City haven’t taken advantage of the location here nearly much as they could have. This is a paradise for sports business—all of the networks and leagues are here, as well as a large number of professional teams and agencies. There’s so much going on, and trying to tap into that and take advantage of that is my goal.

Is there anything you’re working on now that you’re particularly excited about?

Most corporations have sports marketing departments—many Fortune 500 companies, because they’ll use sports marketing as part of their advertising and marketing/communications strategy. We’re especially looking at opportunities to tie into those companies and provide opportunities for our students to get involved.

Where do you see sports marketing industry going over the next few years?

There’s a lot more going on online—fantasy sports, eSports, and general interest in doing things online that weren’t done previously. I’m certainly interested in exploring those avenues.

What do you like most about working at Pace?

I like the openness of people and the quality of college here is outstanding. I’m working with people I really like. 

I’m excited to be at Pace, and I think this is the right University at the right time. Pace is the only University in the world that’s had three people who won their distinguished scientific contribution to understanding sports from the American Marketing Association. Pace is starting to be viewed as an important center for information about sports business. 

You can invite four people, living or dead, to a dinner party. Who would you bring?

I’m also a psychologist by training, and interested in where the world’s going. I would like to invite Jean Piaget and Daniel Kahneman—both are famous for looking at “how we think”—for understanding how we look at the world, and looking at systematic errors most people make when analyzing things.

On the more political and technological side—I recently read Al Gore’s book, The Future, and have a lot of questions I’d like to ask him about what he thinks of some of those topics—he’s very involved in high tech and issues of sustainability. The other person who really fascinates me is Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany. Some people think she is the de facto leader of the free world, and she’s been chancellor since 2005, which is pretty remarkable. She’s made a lot of tough decisions, including some unpopular ones, but she usually seems to make good decisions and it would be wonderful to talk to her more about where she sees the world going. 

I view sports as part of the world, but not the whole world. I want to understand where the whole world is going, not just sports.