Published on September 12, 2017 by Philip Poole  
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Three Samford University faculty members have been selected as the inaugural fellows for the new Center for Sports Analytics, effective with the 2017-18 academic year. The recently launched center is the first of its kind in the United States.

Betsy Emmons, assistant professor of journalism and mass communication, Nathan Kirkpatrick, assistant professor of kinesiology, and Charles Stokes, assistant professor of sociology, will assist with research and other center projects for sports organizations, according to center executive director Darin White.

Emmons has experience in public relations and social media, especially in research about fan engagement. Kirkpatrick coordinates the university’s sport administration program and has done research in collegiate sports. Stokes has done research on the intersection of sociology and sports, including recruitment and brand impact.

“It is a benefit for the center to add faculty fellows from multiple academic disciplines across the campus,” White said. “This also expands our ability to meet the needs of the global sports industry.”

As a Center for Sports Analytics faculty fellow, the fellows will be able to represent the center when they are interacting with others in sports industry, White noted. This especially will benefit Samford students in their learning experiences and with internships and careers.

Samford’s Center for Sports Analytics, will capitalize on highly specialized institutional strengths to focus on emerging areas where analytics can have the greatest impact on sports, including areas such as sponsorship activation, dynamic ticket pricing, athlete performance, social media fan engagement and marketing optimization. White added that Samford has internationally-renowned experts in the fields of sports management, sports media, sports marketing and sports medicine who have vast experience working with top sports teams and brands such as the Miami Dolphins, Bayern Munich, Nike, NASCAR, Adidas, SEC, Indy Car and Major League Soccer.

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Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.