The current recession is hurting everyone. People are losing jobs, companies are going out of business, and for the first time in almost 30 years, the sports industry is being affected by the downturn in the economy. This has led many sports organizations to wonder how they will be able to support themselves if fans do not spend as freely as in the past. That is exactly what Shane Kotlarsky '09 intends to find out as his Independent Study project.
Kotlarsky will be working closely with Sport Management Lecturer Dr. Jason Sosa and Houston Dynamo vice president Rocky Harris over the course of this semester to identify trends in sports consumer spending in an effort to help the Dynamo maintain its financial success. Kotlarsky will implement a fan survey that will identify the spending habits and thresholds of Dynamo fans. From this data, Kotlarsky will then be able to provide the Dynamo with suggestions on how to continue to make their prices affordable for fans while still maintaining its profitable operation.
"Shane is a great example of what is possible for students in the Sport Management Program," Dr. Clark Haptonstall, director of Rice's Sport Management Program, said. "Shane has sought out an extensive research project that will help a professional sports franchise to generate money and learn more about its target audience. We congratulate him on his drive and willingness to take on such a large task."