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Expert Interview with Galileo: The German Fitness Industry

From 2018 until 2021, I ran the Master in Sports Business and Communication at Munich Business School. In different courses, we extensively discuss the shifts in the sport industry. A couple of months ago, I was invited as an industry expert by Galileo, a daily knowledge show, broadcast on Pro7, a private channel. They were planning a full episode on the German fitness industry, with a focus on McFit/RSG Group. Of course, we recorded the interview in a gym, based in Munich. You can find the full episode below, including some key take-aways and a couple of studies I cited in the interview.

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Professor in the Spotlight: Interview with David Wagner

I recently won the 2022 MBS Teaching Award and was appointed the Vice Dean of Research at Munich Business School, thereby joining the (extended) University Management. Below is the link to an interview that was published on the MBS website a little while ago, with some reflections on both achievements.

Of course, I am humbled, but also happy, excited, and proud. I hope to continue inspiring students to learn and explore, while further developing the institution’s research agenda to make an impact on both business and society.

Winning the MBS Teaching Award 2022

I self-identify as a Management Professor with head, heart and hand. I think this slogan represents nicely what I stand for in teaching. Of course, university courses are first and foremost about content – that’s the head. That means we need good texts, cases and other media as a basis for presentations and discussions. Next is the heart, the passion: I burn for the courses and the content I teach. The students also notice this and regularly feed this back to me. Finally comes the hand, the doing and trying out. Experimentation plays an important role, especially in digital contexts. That’s why I think it’s important that we build prototypes and websites, visit trade fairs, and invite practitioners to engage in dialogue. These type of experiences also distinguish MBS as a business school from many other higher education institutions, especially traditional universities.

Becoming the Vice Dean for Research

As Vice Dean for Research, I can now accompany and shape the research activities of MBS more closely, also from a strategic perspective. More specifically, we are positioning ourselves as a business school with the topics and content that we stand for. The selection is no coincidence, but the result of a collaborative process that must be supported by the entire faculty – and, ultimately, the entire university with all its stakeholders.

New Book Chapter: COVID-19 and the Bundesliga – A Study of Digital Fan Engagement Strategies

In late 2022, a Research Handbook on Sport and Covid-19 was published by Paul Pedersen, Professor of Sport Management at Indiana University (USA). About a year earlier he consulted the international sport management community about studies focusing on the impact of Covid-19 on sport organizations. We had just finished one on digital fan engagement strategies in the German Bundesliga. A book chapter with Laura Matz, a graduate from Munich Business School, now at Brands and Emotions, an agency, and Gashaw Abeza, Associate Professor at Towson University (USA) as well as a Research Fellow at Munich Business School, made it into the Research Handbook. Please find the abstract and the links to the full version of the chapter below.

Abstract: This chapter examines how the German Bundesliga clubs have responded to the COVID-19 challenges in terms of engaging fans digitally. Expert interviews were conducted with 13 representatives from three stakeholder groups of the league: club senior managers, consulting managers, and fan representatives. Findings outline six digital engagement principles learned from the clubs’ response to the challenges. These include fan centricity at the core, creating a 360-degree view of the fan, turning physical into virtual encounters, the rise and adaptation of social media use, converting tactic into strategic solutions, and the need for flexible and innovative environment. Theoretical and practical implications as well as suggestions for future research are provided.

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New Book Chapter: Dynamic Capabilities – Celebrating the Plurality of Understandings

I graduated from a doctoral program in strategic management. Its key tenet was to explore the theme of “dynamic capabilities and relationships”, i.e. how organizations can adapt to a changing business environment with help of their (multiple) social relationships (think of buyers, suppliers, stakeholders, etc.). I’ve written up some thoughts on the program in a previous blog post.

The community of scholars involved in the doctoral program, including the founding professors and several doctoral students, have recently published a book entitled “Dynamic Capabilities and Relationships: Discourses, Concepts, and Reflections“, published by Springer. It was a fun project to work on. We were invited to reflect on our doctoral journey and share some core insights from our dissertations projects.

My section has the title: “Four Lessons Learnt from My Doctoral Journey and Some Advice for Emerging Dynamic Capabilities Scholars”. I hope that these learnings will resonate with early doctoral students, particularly with those who share my interest in emerging technologies. Below is quick summary. In order to dive deeper, feel free to explore the whole chapter (see download links and formal references below).

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Conference Panel: Social Media as an Agent of Change in Sport

This week, the Annual Conference of the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) is taking place in Atlanta, GA. Gashaw Abeza and Norm O’Reilly have invited several authors of a recent book on Social Media in Sport to come together for a panel discussion. In the video statement below, just like in the book, I focus on the role of communities and community management in sport. In addition, you will also find the videos by Rebecca Achen (University of the Pacific), who speaks and writes about revenue generation and return on invest (ROI) on social media, as well as Evan Frederick (University of Louisville), whose panel contribution and chapter are about crisis communication on social media. The videos give you an idea of what is covered in the book – and of the discussions happening at the conference.

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