Monday, 2 October 2017

Soccer Mad Boffins USA - UK Summer Tour 2017: Highlights

Another summer and another maelstrom of exciting conference and guest lecture activity, taking in both sides of the Atlantic (and one side of the Pacific, too....see below).  Here are the highlights.

The summer tour began in July, on 'home' turf at a University of York open day.  Visitors were treated to an informative display about our research.  We also gave out free postcards featuring the Soccer Mad Boffins logo, and some awesome glossy mini-brochures detailing the key facts and findings from our research of the 1966 FIFA World Cup.  There was even a display copy of 'Foundations of Managing Sporting Events', courtesy of our publisher Routledge, for people to browse.

Later that month, Dr Kevin D. Tennent attended the world's most significant and strategically important business/management/ administration academic event, Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Conference, held this year in Atlanta, Georgia in the USA.  Yet more thanks to our publisher Routledge, 'Foundations of Managing Sporting Events' was again available for inspection, taking pride of place amongst flagship titles on their display.

September was notable for two significant Soccer Mad Boffins appearances. At the beginning of the month, we both attended the UK's most significant and strategically important business/management/administration studies academic event, the British Academy of Management's (BAM) Annual Conference, which was this year hosted by University of Warwick.  

This year was particularly eventful for us because it was the inaugural year of the Business & Management Special Interest Group (SIG), for which we are both founding members of the committee.  Holding the first AGM was a big moment for us and testament to all of the hard work that Kevin in particular has put into building up the profile of business and management history at BAM over the years.  We were also able to attend the SIG Chair's meeting and it puts us in an influential place to champion history amongst the business/management/administration research community.

Of course as well as hosting and attending meetings and chairing sessions, we also presented our own research - this year a working paper that we have written about the historic and contemporary contribution of referees to soccer's governing institutions.  We hope to have more news about this exciting stream of research soon.

To cap-off such a productive summer we had the great honor of being invited by one of the world's leading experts, Professor Ray Levitt, to present to Stanford University's Center for Global Projects our research on the FIFA World Cup 1966.  This was undertaken as a webinar: We used internet technology to broadcast our presentation from Soccer Mad Boffin Headquarters in The University of York, on the East side of England in the UK, to Stanford University in California, on the West Coast of the USA.  

There was an 8 hour time zone gap between GMT (UK time) and Pacific Time (California) meaning that whilst the audience enjoyed an early afternoon lecture with the California sunshine outside, we were by contrast working at night with the rain lashing down on our windows. Perhaps next time we will take the airplane and appear 'in person'!

We thoroughly enjoyed the experience of presenting to Stanford's academics and graduate and postgraduate students who attended, and particularly the Q&A which followed our presentation. We hope to do it again soon!

The paper that we presented has already been accepted for publication in a forthcoming Special Issue of the Project Management Journal (TM) and we will of course provide more details about the publication date when we have them.