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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Faculty and Staff

Nicholas Masafumi Watanabe, Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Sport and Entertainment Management
College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
Phone: 803-777-8532
Fax: 803-777-8788
Office: Close-Hipp 776
Nick Masafumi Watanabe, assistant professor, sport and entertainment management


M.S., Leisure Studies, University of Illinois
Ph.D., Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois

Nicholas Masafumi Watanabe is an associate professor in the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management. Watanabe received his Master of Science in Leisure Studies and his Ph.D. in Recreation, Sport and Tourism from the University of Illinois. Prior to coming to South Carolina, Watanabe served as assistant professor from 2016–2017 and assistant teaching professor from 2010–2016 at the University of Missouri.

As an undergraduate, Watanabe interned for the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer from 2000–2003. He lectured at Beijing Sport University in 2011, where he taught a course comparing and contrasting the business practices of North American sport organizations with those in China. In addition, he has a second degree black belt in the Japanese martial art of Kendo.


  • Sports economics
  • Big data and analytics
  • Sport finance
  • Social media
  • Communication
  • International sport
  • Collegiate athletics


  • SPTE 440 – Sport and Entertainment Business and Finance
  • SPTE 590 – Big Data and Analytics

Honors and awards

  • North American Society for Sport Management Research Fellow (2018) 

Editorial boards

  • Journal of Sport Management
  • Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal
  • Managing Sport and Leisure
  • Journal of Leisure Research
  • Associate Editor: Journal of Leisure Research

Research publications

Yan, G., Watanabe, N. M., Shaprio, S., Naraine, M., & Hull, K. (Accepted). "Unfolding the Twitter scene of the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final: Social media networks and power dynamics." European Sport Management Quarterly

Watanabe, N. M., Yan, G. & Soebbing, B. (Accepted). "Market disruption as a regime for athlete activism: An economic analysis of college football player protests." Sport Management Review

Soebbing, B. P., Watanabe, N. M., & Seifried, C. (Accepted). "The impact of price discrimination, price dispersion, and facilities on organizational revenue: Lessons from Major League Baseball." Managing Sport and Leisure

Gong, H., Watanabe, N. M., Brown, M., & Nagel, M. (Accepted). "The impact of the Chinese Basketball Association’s Asian-born player policy on competitive balance." Journal of Global Sport Management

Yan, G., Steller, D., Watanabe, N. M., & Popp, N. (2018). "What determines user-generated content creation of college football? Analytical modeling from the lens of structuration theory." International Journal of Sport Communication, 11, 219-240

Baker, T. A., Edelman, M., & Watanabe, N. M. (2018). "Debunking the NCAA’s myth that amateurism conforms with antitrust law: A legal and statistical analysis." Tennessee Law Review.

Yan, G., Pegoraro, A., & Watanabe, N. M. (2018). "Student-Athletes’ organization of activism at the University of Missouri: Resource mobilization on Twitter." Journal of Sport Management, 32(1), 24-37.

Watanabe, N. M., Yan, G., Soebbing, B. P., & Pegoraro, A. (2017). "Is there consumer-based economic discrimination on sport social media? An analysis of Major League Baseball." Journal of Sport Management, 31(4), 374-386.

Brunette, C., Vo, N., & Watanabe, N. M. (2017). "Donation intention in current students: An analysis of university engagement and sense of place in future athletic, academic, and split donors." Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 10, 78-100.

Watanabe, N. M., & Soebbing, B. P. (2017). "Chinese Super League: Attendance, pricing, and team performance." Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, 7(2), 157-174.

Popp, N., McEvoy, C., & Watanabe, N. M. (2017). "Do college athletics marketers convert social media growth into ticket sales?" International Journal of Sport Marketing and Sponsorship, 18(2), 212-227.

Watanabe, N. M., Wicker, P., & Yan, G. (2017). "Weather conditions, travel distance, rest, and running performance: The 2014 FIFA World Cup and Implications for the Future." Journal of Sport Management, 31(1), 27-43.

Watanabe, N. M., Yan, G., & Soebbing, B. P. (2016). "Consumer interest in Major League Baseball: An analytical modeling of Twitter." Journal of Sport Management. 30(2), 207-220.

Soebbing, B. P., Wicker, P., & Watanabe, N. M. (2016). "The effects of performance expectations on total compensation of Division I-FBS head coaches." Journal of Sport Management. 30(1), 70-81.

Watanabe, N. M., Yan, G., & Soebbing, B. P. (2015). "Major League Baseball and Twitter: The economics of social media use." Journal of Sport Management, 29, 619-632.

Watanabe, N. M., Wicker, P., & Reuter, J. C. (2015). "Determinants of extra time awarded to teams in the English Premier League." International Journal of Sport Finance, 10, 310-327.

Keaton, S. A., Watanabe, N. M., & Gearhart, C. C. (2015). "A comparison of college football and auto racing fan profiles: Identity formation and spectatorship motivation." Sport Marketing Quarterly, 24, 43-55.

Watanabe, N. M. (2015). "Sources of direct demand: The case of the Ultimate Fighting Championship." International Journal of Sport Finance, 10(1), 26-41.

Yan, G., & Watanabe, N. M. (2014). "The Liancourt Rocks: Politics of nationalism at the 2012 summer Olympic Games." International Journal of Sport Communication, 7(4), 495-515.

Soebbing, B. P., & Watanabe, N. M. (2014). "The effects of price dispersion and competitive balance on Major League Baseball attendance." Journal of Sport Management, 28(4), 433-446.

Watanabe, N. M., Soebbing, B. P., & Wicker, P. (2013). "Examining the impact of the StubHub agreement on price dispersion in Major League Baseball." Sport Marketing Quarterly, 22(3), 129-137.

Watanabe, N. M., Nie, T., & Yan, G. (2013). "Evolution of sport broadcast commentary: The case of China." International Journal of Sport Communication, 6, 288-311.

Watanabe, N. M. (2012). "Japanese professional soccer attendance and the effects of regions, competitive balance and rival franchises." International Journal of Sport Finance, 7(4), 309-323.

Watanabe, N. M. (2012). "Demand for pay-per-view consumption of Ultimate Fighting Championship events." International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing. 11(3/4), 225-238.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.