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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Faculty and Staff

Nicholas Masafumi Watanabe, Ph.D.

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Sport and Entertainment Management
College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
Phone: 803-777-8532
Fax: 803-777-8788
Office: Carolina Coliseum, 2026 H


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

Nicholas Masafumi Watanabe is an assistant 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

Research publications

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

Brunette, C., Vo, N., and 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., and 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., and 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., and 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., and 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., and 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., and 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., and 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., and 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., and 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., and 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., and 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., and 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.