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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Model Mentor: Sporty Jeralds

Posted on: August 10, 2018
By: Allen Wallace,

Sporty Jeralds was a teacher and mentor long before he became a professor of sport and entertainment management at the University of South Carolina, and long before educating young people was included in his job description.

That lifetime commitment to lending a helping hand was recognized recently as the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) awarded Jeralds the 2018 Education and Service Award.

 “Sporty deserves this recognition. He hits every term of the award description with outstanding qualifications,” says Dean Haemoon Oh of the UofSC College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management. “He is truly a champion of community outreach, mentoring, and education.”

The Service and Education Award recognizes member involvement through community outreach, education opportunities, mentorships, and internships that demonstrate excellence within our industry as well as giving back to the community. Jeralds has been an IAVM member for more than 30 years, serving on many committees and mentoring many fellow members along the way.

In 10 years at UofSC, Jeralds has become a beloved instructor, well known for his dedication to his students on a personal level. He begins his classes by asking students to share good news from their lives, and the class celebrates each item shared, big or small. He encourages his students to send handwritten thank-you notes to important people in their lives. He finds ways to keep class interesting too, from guest speakers like Dawn Staley to impromptu pep rallies before important sporting events.

 “I knew of Sporty long before I worked with him,” says UofSC Sport and Entertainment Management Department Chair Matt Brown. “It was through his mentorship of so many venue management professionals that I consistently heard his name. He had a fantastic reputation. I am fortunate now to work alongside him and see how he serves as a mentor to our current students, alumni, and still to many who worked for him in Charlotte.”

Sporty deserves this recognition. He hits every term of the award description with outstanding qualifications. He is truly a champion of community outreach, mentoring, and education.

—Dean Haemoon Oh, UofSC College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Jeralds has worked in sport facilities management since 1983, and served for 15 years as manager of the Charlotte Coliseum, overseeing a $12 million budget and a staff of more than 60 full-time and 600 part-time employees. He is one of only 300 certified facilities executives in the world, and has coordinated events including the NCAA Basketball Final Four (both men’s and women’s), the NBA All-Star Game, a Rolling Stones concert, and an appearance by Mother Theresa.

Jeralds is the author of three highly successful books and winner of the Harold J. VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Sports Management Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He also works with the Charlotte Hornets’ community relations department.

"Sporty is truly the embodiment of service and leadership, and an incredible role model for youth, students, young professionals and industry executives alike," said Kimberly Mahoney in her speech presenting the award to Jeralds at the IAVM annual conference in Toronto last month.

Mahoney, a former intern and mentee of Jeralds’ and now a professor of sport management at the University of New Haven, added that Jeralds "has used the tools of education, outreach and mentoring to help shape and change the future and scope of our industry."


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