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Nels Popp

Associate Professor – Sport Administration
Co-Director, Center of Research and Intercollegiate Athletics



Nels Popp started as an assistant professor in the UNC Sport Administration Program in 2014. Prior to that, he spent five and a half years as an assistant professor and graduate program coordinator for the sport management program at Illinois State University. Popp’s research interests include revenue generation for college athletic departments with a particular emphasis on sport ticket sales at both the collegiate and professional sport levels. Popp’s work and expertise has been referenced in, Street and Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, and his research has been published in a variety of academic journals. Prior to working in academia, Popp spent eight years serving as the sports information director at Bellarmine University (NCAA II) in Louisville, Ky. and Viterbo University (NAIA) in La Crosse, Wis. where he was also an assistant men’s basketball coach. In addition, he spent three years working in media relations and administration for the Cairns Taipans National Basketball League team and Cairns Basketball Inc. in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Popp also has done contract work and volunteered with a variety of sport organizations, including the Super Bowl XLVI Host Committee, the AVP Beach Volleyball Tour, the National Senior Games, the McDonald’s High School All-American Basketball games, and the La Crosse Loggers of the Northwoods League, a college summer baseball league.


Ph.D. Sport Administration, University of Louisville

M.S. Sport Administration, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

B.A. English, Saint Mary’s University (Minn.)


Course Specialization

EXSS 747 College Sport Facility and Event Management

EXSS 221 Introduction to Sport and Recreation Administration

EXSS 224 Sports Sales and Revenue Production Seminar


Professional Associations

North American Society for Sport Management (2005-present)

Sport Marketing Association (2009-present)

College Sports Information Directors Association (2004-2008)