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Nels Popp

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Assistant Professor

Dr. Nels Popp is an Assistant Professor of Sport Administration at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he teaches courses in Sport Sales and Sport Facility & Event Management. Popp has also taught in the sport management programs at Illinois State University and at the University of Louisville, where he earned his doctorate in Sport Administration in 2007.


Popp researches sport ticket sales and revenue generation for college athletics departments and professional sports teams. He is a co-author of a new textbook entitled Selling in the Sport Industry (Kendall Hunt Publishing), which is scheduled to be published in the spring of 2017. His work and expertise has been referenced in local and national media outlets such as ESPN.com, the SportsBusiness Journal, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, San Jose Mercury, and the Syracuse Post-Dispatch. His research has been published in a variety of academic journals and he has presented his work at numerous conferences, including the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA), and the Sport Marketing Association (SMA). In 2016, Popp was given the Award of Excellence for Undergraduate Teaching at UNC’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science and he was recently elected president of the Sport Marketing Association.


Prior to working in academia, Popp spent eight years working in small college athletics media relations. In addition, he spent three years working in the front office for basketball clubs in Queensland, Australia, including a stint with the Cairns Taipans of the National Basketball League. Popp has also conducted market research for a variety of sport organizations such as the Atlantic Coast Conference (NCAA), the Missouri Valley Conference (NCAA), the Durham Bulls (MiLB), and the Bloomington PrairieThunder (minor league hockey). He has also worked or volunteered at numerous events including Super Bowl XLVI, the AVP Beach Volleyball Tour, and the National Senior Games.