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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Faculty and Staff

John Grady, J.D., Ph.D.

Title: Carolina Trustees Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies and Research
Department: Department of Sport and Entertainment Management
College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
Phone: 803-777-9327
Fax: 803-777-8788
Office: Close-Hipp 772
John Grady headshot


Ph.D., Florida State University
J.D., Florida State University College of Law
B.S., Penn State University


John Grady teaches graduate courses in sport law and risk and security management. At the undergraduate level, he teaches courses in business law and risk management. Grady's research interests focus primarily on the legal aspects of the business of sport. This includes concentrations in the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act by the sport and entertainment venue industries as well as intellectual property protection by professional and collegiate sport properties. He is the principal investigator on a funded research study investigating the risk perceptions of international venue managers in accommodating patrons with disabilities.

Grady's research has been published in outlets including the Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport, Sport Marketing Quarterly, the Journal of Sport Management, Sport Management Review, and the Entertainment and Sports Lawyer. He serves on the editorial review board for the Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport and is the editor of the Sport Marketing and the Law section of Sport Marketing Quarterly. He is a past president of the Sport and Recreation Law Association as well.

Several students Grady has mentored conducted undergraduate research, including one of the first Magellan Scholars at the University of South Carolina. Grady has also designed the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management's undergraduate research track. 

Grady was the recipient of the 2009 Harry S. and Carmen E. Varney College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award and the 2009 Ada B. Thomas Outstanding Faculty Advisor of the Year Award. He is a previous recipient of the College of HRSM Patricia G. Moody Distinguished Researcher and Scholar of the Year and Mortar Board Honor Society Excellence in Teaching Award, and was twice nominated for the Distinguished Undergraduate Mentor award. In 2014, Grady received the Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award, the university's highest teaching honor.

During the Summer of 2012, Grady conducted research on-site at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. His current research focuses on understanding how Rule 40 will impact sponsorship of Olympic athletes in the context of ambush marketing as analyzing how social media is changing the Olympic sponsorship landscape. In 2016, he conducted research on-site at the Rio Olympic Games examining athlete sponsorship and ambush marketing.

In the Media

  • Tokyo needs to convince sponsors Olympics will really happen: AP (link unavailable)


  • ADA compliance in sport and entertainment venues
  • Intellectual property protection in sport
  • Ambush marketing and sponsorship protection at mega sport events

Honors / Awards

  • 2015 Outstanding Faculty Advisor of the Year Award
  • 2014 Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • 2014 Sport and Recreation Law Association Honor Award 
  • 2014 Sport and Recreation Law Association (SRLA) Research Fellow


SPTE 325 – Club and Resort Recreation Programming
SPTE 376 – Risk Management
SPTE 530 – Sport and the Law
SPTE 746 – Risk and Security Management in Public Assembly Facilities
TSTM 240 – Business Law
SPTE 498 – Research Experience
SPTE 499 – Senior Thesis

Research Publications

Gillentine, A., Grady, J., Miller, J., & Pettus, K. (2016). Accessible tailgating: An examination of ADA requirements and implications associated with tailgating activities. Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport, 26(1), 52-65.

Paramio-Salcines, J., Downs, P. J., & Grady, J. (2016). Football and their communities: The celebration of Manchester United FC’s Ability Suite. Soccer and Society, 17(5), 770-791.

Ballouli, K., Grady. J., & Stewart, R. (2016). The delicate art of rebranding a minor league baseball franchise. Practices, pitfalls, and payoffs of rebranding the Winston-Salem Warthogs. Sport Management Review, 19(2), 211-226.

Baker, T. A., Byon, K. K., Grady, J., & Cianfrone, B. A. (2015). Simplifying the transformative use doctrine: Analyzing transformative use in EA’s NCAA Football sport video games. Elon Law Review, 7(2), 467-490.

Baker, T. A., Byon, K. K., Cianfrone, B. A., & Grady, J. (2014). Conceptualizing and measuring the use of student-athlete likeness in EA’s NCAA Football through identity use and identity value: The consumer perspective. Journal of Sport Management, 28(3), 281-294.

Paramio-Salcines, J. L., Grady, J., & Downs, P. (2014). Growing the football game: The increasing economic and social relevance of older fans and those with disabilities in the European football industry. Soccer and Society, 15(6), 864-882.

Grady, J., & Nagel, M. (2013). Keep calm and Johnny Football: The evolving trademark rights of college athletes. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 22, 246-248.

Grady, J., & James, J. D. (2013). Understanding the needs of spectators with disabilities attending sporting events. Journal of Venue and Event Management, 4(2), 47-62.

Baker, T. A., Grady, J., & Rappole, J. (2012). Consent theory as a possible cure for unconscionable terms in student-athlete contracts. Marquette Sports Law Review, 22(2), 619- 650.

Mercado, H., & Grady, J. (2012). The ongoing fight for the Fighting Sioux. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 21(2), 115-118.

Carroll, B. K., Cottingham, M., Grady, J., & Allen, J. (2011). Examining gender differences in the effect of spectator motivation on sport consumption behaviors at collegiate wheelchair basketball games. Journal of Venue and Event Management, 3(1), 11-27.

Grady, J. (2010). New Life Art decision breathes new life into artist’s First Amendment rights. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 19(1), 48-50.

Grady, J., McKelvey, S., & Bernthal, M. J., (2010). From Beijing 2008 to London 2012: Examining event-specific Olympic legislation vis à vis the rights and interests of stakeholders. Journal of Sponsorship, 3(2), 144-156.

Grady, J., & Ohlin, J. B. (2009). Equal access to hospitality services for guests with mobility impairments under the Americans with Disabilities Act: Implications for the hospitality industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 28(1), 161-169.

Grady, J. (2009). Smack Apparel revisited on appeal: Significant victory or narrow extension of trademark protection for universities' color schemes. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 18(1), 54-56.

McKelvey, S., & Grady, J. (2008). Sponsorship program protection strategies for special sport events: Are event organizers outmaneuvering ambush marketers? Journal of Sport Management, 22(4), 550-586.

Grady, J., & McKelvey, S. (2008). Trademark protection of school colors: Smack Apparel and Sinks decisions trigger colorful legal debate for the collegiate licensing industry. Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport, 18(2), 101-136.

Grady, J. (2008). University of Kansas and Kansas Athletics, Inc., v. Larry Sinks et al. (collectively d/b/a/, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23765 (D. Kan. 2008). International Journal of Sport Communication, 1(3), 378-383.

Grady, J. (2007). Fantasy stats case tests limits of intellectual property in the digital age. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 16(4), 230-231.

Grady, J., & Andrew, D. P. S. (2007). Equality of access to emergency services for people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport, 17(1), 1-25.

McKelvey, S., & Grady, J. (2006). Missouri court fashions new 'twist' on athletes' publicity rights. Entertainment and Sports Lawyer, 24(3), 1, 26-28.

Grady, J., & Andrew, D. P. S. (2006). Emergency preparedness for individuals with disabilities. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 77(2), 10-11.

Grady, J. (2005). University of Alabama case to test limits of trademark licensing in sport art cases. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 14(4) 251-252.

Grady, J., McKelvey, S., & Clement. A. (2005). A new 'twist' for 'The Homerun Guys'? An analysis of the right of publicity versus parody. Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport, 15(2), 267-294.

Grady, J., & Clement, A. (2005). Gambling and collegiate sport. Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport, 15(1), 95-112.

Ohlin, J. B., & Grady, J. (2005). Web site access and the Americans with Disabilities Act: Implications for the hospitality industry. Electronic Journal of Hospitality Legal, Safety and Security Research, 2, 1-8.

Andrew, D. P. S., & Grady, J. (2005). Access Now v. Southwest Airlines: A net loss for users with disabilities. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 14, 56-58.

Grady, J., & Ohlin, J. (2004). The application of Title III of the ADA to sport web sites. Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport, 14(2), 145-161.

Grady, J., & Andrew, D. P. S. (2004). Legal implications of the Americans with Disabilities Act: Changing guidelines, structures, and attitudes in accommodating guests with disabilities. Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport, 13(3), 231-252.

McKelvey, S., & Grady, J. (2004). An analysis of the ongoing global efforts to combat ambush marketing: Will corporate marketers 'take' the gold in Greece? Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport, 14(2), 191-220.

Grady, J. (2004). Right of publicity, trademark case to have implications for marketing professional athletes. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 13(1), 59-60.

McKelvey, S., & Grady, J. (2004). Ambush marketing: The legal battleground for sport marketers. Entertainment and Sports Lawyer, 21(6), 8-15.

Book Chapters

Grady, J. (2010). Premises liability. In D. Cotten & J. T. Wolohan (Eds.), Law for Recreation and Sport Managers (5th ed.). Kendall Hunt Publishing.

Grady, J., Clement, A., & Woishnis, J. (2009). Trademark counterfeiting of sport merchandise and criminal law. In J. W. Lee & J. C. Lee (Eds.), Sport and criminal behavior. Carolina Academic Press.

Grady, J., & Bernthal, M. J. (2007). Easy target: Legal issues in sport website accessibility. In J. James (Ed.), Sport marketing across the spectrum: Selected research from emerging, developing, and established scholars: The Sport Marketing Association's book of papers (pp. 127-142). Fitness Information Technology.

Professional Associations

  • Sport and Recreation Law Association, Former President
  • North American Society for Sport Management
  • Sport Marketing Association

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