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Evolution of WASM By Karen Danylchuk (NASSM)

Early Years:

In 1985, the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) was established, followed by the European Association for Sport Management (EASM) in 1993 and the Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand in 1995.  While the consideration of a global sport management organization was discussed by a small interested group, consisting of Bob Boucher (University of Windsor), Karen Danylchuk (The University of Western Ontario), Linda Koehler (University of the Pacific), David Shilbury (Deakin University), James Thoma (Mount Union College), and others at some of the early NASSM conferences, there was consensus that continental associations needed to mature before such an organization could be viewed as credible. 

James Thoma, however, offered to establish a newsletter called the Global Sport Management News (GSMN) for circulation to NASSM, EASM, and SMAANZ.  GSMN was published twice yearly in hard copy beginning in 1995 for about three years, after which time it was delivered electronically.  James continued as editor of this newsletter until 2011 at which point Lisa Miller took over the reins.

International Sport Management Alliance:

Discussions continued regarding how the regional associations might begin to collaborate.  There was agreement from NASSM, EASM, and SMAANZ that an International Sport Management Alliance Conference would be held in conjunction with one of the three regional association conferences on a rotational basis every two years.  The expectation of the host of this conference was to provide a special international “program” that might consist of a reception, meeting, and sessions for those individuals interested in the international aspects of our sport management field.  The first International Alliance Conference occurred at the EASM Congress at Montpellier, France in 1996. During this Congress, Berend Rubingh, President of EASM, asked David Shilbury (SMAANZ) to chair an Alliance meeting.  Lively debate occurred concerning the concept of a global sport management academy.

It was not until 1999, however, that a “formal” charter to establish an International Sport Management Alliance consisting of NASSM, EASM, and SMAANZ was signed by the Presidents at the time (Frank Ashley—NASSM; Livin Bollaert—EASM; and David Shilbury—SMAANZ) to recognize the common mission of the three regional associations:  “to facilitate sport management research and teaching excellence worldwide”.  Other International Sport Management Alliance Conference hosts included NASSM in Buffalo, New York (1998); SMAANZ in Sydney, Australia (2000); EASM in Jyvaskyla, Finland (2002); NASSM in Atlanta, Georgia (2004); SMAANZ in Melbourne, Australia (2006); and EASM in Heidelberg, Germany (2008).

Growth of Regional Associations:

After initial meetings in Beijing in August 2001 followed by Singapore in 2002, with Karen Danylchuk serving as the consultant, the Asian Association for Sport Management (AASM) was formally established in Singapore in February 2002.  Their first conference occurred in Seoul, Korea in September 2002.  AASM subsequently joined the International Sport Management Alliance in 2006. 

A Latin American organization was initially proposed by Laurence Chalip to Rosa Lopez de D’Amico in 2001.  It took several years for interested parties to connect.  While the initial establishment was planned for 2008, economic restrictions prevented it from occurring until March 2009 at Universidad Pedagógica Experimental Libertador in Turmero, Venezuela.  The new association was called the Asociacion Latinoamericana de Gerencia Deportiva (ALGEDE).   

The process of forming the African Sport Management Association (ASMA) was initiated by Mombi Thairu, President of the International Multicultural Society for Sport & Entertainment (IMSSE) in 2009, with the help of Kihumbu Thairu (Nairobi University), Floyd Jones (West Virginia University), Peter Wanderi (Kenyatta University), and Daniel G. Kelly II (DeSales University). ASMA was established on June 8,2010 during the African Forum of the 17th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Comparative Physical Education and Sport (ISCPES) held at Kenyatta University, Kenya.

Movement to Establish a Global Sport Management Academy:

With the addition of these three regional associations, there was impetus to revisit the idea of a global sport management academy/organization.  An initial meeting to discuss this concept occurred at Aletheia University in May 2010 and included the Presidents from three regional associations—James Zhang (NASSM), Russell Hoye (SMAANZ), and Chin-Hsung Kao (AASM).  Yang (Noah) Hsu served as the host.

In response to a request from NASSM President James Zhang to Karen Danylchuk (NASSM’s first International Delegate appointed in 2004) to chair an International Initiatives Ad Hoc Committee, a committee  composed of Karen Danylchuk (Chair), Ming Li, David Shilbury, Bob Boucher, Brenda Pitts, and Kostas Karadakis (student rep), was formed in June 2010.  One of the first orders of business was to provide James Zhang with some guidance regarding a meeting that he was coordinating with the other regional Presidents at the upcoming 2010 EASM conference in Prague to discuss the concept of a world academy of sport management. 

Meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, September 2010:

Individuals in attendance at the meeting in Prague on Friday, September 17, 2010 included James Zhang (NASSM) as Chair; Paul Jonson representing SMAANZ; Mikel Urdangaren, Kari Puranaho, and Herbert Woratschek representing EASM; Munehiko Harada representing AASM; Laurence Chalip representing ALGEDE; Karen Danylchuk as Chair of the NASSM International Initiatives Committee; Brenda Pitts as a member of the NASSM International Initiatives Committee; Yang (Noah) Hsu representing Aletheia University in Taipei, Taiwan; and Darlene Kluka from Barry University as observer.  A representative from the newly formed African Sport Management Association (ASMA) was unable to attend the EASM Congress. 

There was unanimous support for the idea to move forward from the current International Sport Management Alliance to a global association.  Discussion took place concerning possible governance (e.g., affiliation with the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education versus a stand-alone organization), goals (e.g., conference, journal), and challenges.  Yang (Noah) Hsu from Aletheia University in Taipei announced that he would be hosting a second Sport Management Summit in May 2011 where it was hoped that the Presidents of the continental associations could continue their discussions of a global organization.  The meeting concluded with Karen Danylchuk being asked to lead this working group with Paul Jonson as her assistant. Paul and Karen agreed to work on a proposed constitution for a global organization.

Initial Formation of World Association of Sport Management in Taipei, Taiwan, April 2011:

Yang (Noah) Hsu from Aletheia University in Taipei extended an official invitation to the working/founding group to a follow-up meeting in April 2011 in conjunction with their Global Sport Management Summit. All six regional association Presidents and/or delegates--James Zhang (NASSM President), Bob Baker (NASSM President-Elect), Karen Danylchuk (NASSM Chair, International Relations Committee), Brenda Pitts (NASSM International Relations Committee), Paul Jonson (SMAANZ President), David Shilbury (SMAANZ delegate, NASSM International Relations Committee), Mikel Urdangarin (EASM President), Nilmanee Sriboon (AASM President), Munehiko Harada (AASM delegate), Kim Chang Ho (AASM delegate), Kim Chang (AASM delegate), Rosa Lopez de D’Amico (ALGEDE President), Kihumbu Thairu (ASMA President)--and other interested participants--Noah Hsu, Yeh Kong-Ting, Peter Cheng (AASM), Els van Dam, Antje Diertjens (EASM), Ahmed Al-Emadi (Qatar), Myles Schrag (Human Kinetics Publishers)--were present at this meeting in Taipei on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1, 2011.  

Consensus was reached to officially establish a global sport management organization with a mission “to facilitate sport management research, teaching, and learning excellence and professional practice worldwide”.  It was proposed that the name of the new organization be the “World Association for Sport Management” (WASM).  All regional association members would be automatic members of the new organization with no membership fees at this time.  Aletheia University also graciously offered to serve as the headquarters/secretariat of the new organization.  The meeting ended with all six Presidents agreeing to seek approval from their Executive Council for support and inclusion in this new organization.

Following this meeting in Taipei in April 2011, Paul Jonson (President of SMAANZ) drafted a constitution based on the agreed structure and with Karen Danylchuk (NASSM International Relations Committee Chair and WASM working group member) sought feedback from the founding group on the draft constitution circulated by them. Revisions were made and the proposed constitution was circulated to the six regional associations for approval. 

Meeting in Madrid, September 2011:

A further meeting of the regional association representatives occurred in conjunction with the EASM Congress in Madrid on September 10, 2011. With the exception of the African Association for Sport Management (ASMA), the other regional associations were represented— Karen Danylchuk (NASSM), Mikel Urdangarin, Herbert Woratschek, Gerco van Dalfsen (EASM); David Shilbury, Tracey Taylor (SMAANZ); Munehiko Harada, Etsuko Ogasawara, Hirok Matsuka (AASM); and Rosa LÓpez de D’Amico (ALGEDE). The meeting was chaired by Karen Danylchuk (NASSM). 

Two issues related to the proposed constitution were subsequently debated by members, specifically the need for unanimous agreement in relation to board decisions and the order of regional associations as listed in the constitution. It was agreed that by the time a face-to-face meeting could be held in 2012 (either in late April/early May in Taipei or May in Seattle), all regional associations boards should have considered the proposed constitution, and be in a position to consider the formal establishment of WASM. 

Formal Establishment of WASM at Aletheia University, April 2012:

Over the ensuing months, all six regional associations approved the concept of WASM and its proposed constitution, and the appointment of Aletheia University as the Secretariat. Yang (Noah) Hsu from Aletheia University subsequently offered to organize yet another Global Sport Management Summit at his university in April 2012.

On April 27, 2012, two representatives of the six regional associations--Bob Baker (NASSM President-Elect) and Karen Danylchuk (NASSM delegate), Mikel Urdangarin (EASM President) and Ruth Crabtree (EASM delegate), Paul Jonson (SMAANZ President) and Graham Cuskelly (SMAANZ delegate), Nilmanee Sriboon (AASM President) and Munehiko Harada (AASM delegate), Rosa Lopez de D’Amico (ALGEDE President) and Rosa Medina (ALGEDE delegate), and Mwangi Peter Wanderi (ASMA delegate), along with other founding supporters—Brenda Pitts and James Zhang (NASSM), Antje Diertens (EASM), David Shilbury (SMAANZ), Yeh Ting (AASM), Yang (Noah) Hsu--met and formally adopted the Constitution of WASM and appointed Aletheia University as the Secretariat.  Brenda Pitts (NASSM) was elected to serve as the Acting Chair until the first Executive was established. 

Over the ensuing months, all six regional associations approved the concept of WASM and its proposed constitution, and the appointment of Aletheia University as the Secretariat. Yang (Noah) Hsu from Aletheia University subsequently offered to organize yet another Global Sport Management Summit at his university in April 2012.

An Executive was elected composed of Paul Jonson (SMAANZ) as President, Karen Danylchuk (NASSM) as Vice-President, Ruth Crabtree (EASM) as Secretary, and Nilmanee Sriboon (AASM) as Treasurer.  Yang (Noah) Hsu from Aletheia University was appointed the Executive Director of the Secretariat.  The Board, consisting of the two representatives from each of the six regional associations, and other founding members began work on various aspects of the new organization, such as a communications plan, membership base, funding model, and future WASM conference and journal.

The World Association for Sport Management (WASM) is now formally established and operational.



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North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) European Association for Sport Management (EASM) Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand (SMANNZ) Latin American Association for Sport Management (ALGEDE) Asian Association for Sport Management (AASM) African Sport Management Association (ASMA)

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