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Revelation star: Nick Watanabe – UofSC News and Events

The professor of sports and entertainment management studies the new "attention economy"

Nick Watanabe was interning for Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire team when
realized that everyone promoted in the organization had earned their master's degree.
He realized that if he wanted to move up on the athletic field, he needed to go back to school .

Once there, he enjoyed teaching and research and decided to combine the two fields
for his career.

He is now an associate professor of sports and entertainment management at the University.
From South Carolina, Watanabe focuses on the economics of sports along with human behavior
in the context of sports.

"I take a different or unique approach to looking at it," says Watanabe. “In our field,
we have a lot of people doing survey-based research. I do a lot with secondary data
sets. I'm trying to look through bigger, more aggregated big data. "

His research examines consumer demand for sports products and how the nature of
demand has changed in recent years. Look at how television , digital sites and
Social networks have presented opportunities and threats to the existing economic market.

"My research goes beyond the traditional forms of demand of the sports market to expand the understanding
of what influences consumer decisions in emerging markets and platforms, "
says. "By examining behaviors on digital sites such as social media, my lineage emphasizes
the importance of this new 'attention economy' and how the structure and patterns
of consumption have changed in the digital age."

Recent work has even delved into the possible impacts of COVID-19, analyzing the
relationship between the transmission of diseases such as the flu and
events. “We have found evidence that hosting games leads to an increase in influenza
cases, as well as mortality from influenza in the area where the game was played, ”he says.

Another current research project analyzes the relationship between sport and the environment environment,
examine how sporting events impact pollution in cities As part of a new subfield
called sport ecology, the work studies how sport impacts the environment and how fans cos
are affected by attending sporting events.

“Everyone talks about the positive impact of sport. Our research found that NFL games
a significant increase in ozone emissions ”when examining Environmental Protection
Organize the air quality results and compare them with the times and locations of the games

My research goes beyond traditional forms of demand in the sports market to broaden the understanding
of what influences consumer decisions in emerging markets and platforms.

Nick Watanabe

Watanabe has also looked at the reverse, studying whether fans are turned away
due to environmental hazards like air pollution. With soccer in China, he found
that pollution did not change consumer behavior; fans were still willing to come to
matches even if it meant they were exposed to unhealthy air.

Watanabe is a long-time sports fan, soccer in particular. He was born and raised
in Illinois, but attended junior high and high school in his father's native Japan.
He returned to the United States to study at the University of Illinois.

"I was very lucky. I grew up in Japan while they were in the bidding process.
for their first World Cup and when they first came to the World Cup, "
he says." I was caught by football fever ".

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