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Kirk  Wakefield, B.A., M.B.A., Ph.D. - Baylor University . Baylor, TX, US

Kirk Wakefield, B.A., M.B.A., Ph.D. Kirk  Wakefield, B.A., M.B.A., Ph.D.

Edwin W. Streetman Professor of Retail Marketing | Baylor University


Dr. Wakefield is the Edwin W. Streetman Professor of Retail Marketing at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business.




Kirk  Wakefield, B.A., M.B.A., Ph.D. Publication



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Dr. Kirk Wakefield is the Edwin W. Streetman Professor of Retail Marketing and executive director of Sports Sponsorship & Sales at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business. His research in retailing covering more than two decades focuses primarily upon sports psychology, team sports marketing, entertainment marketing, and fan and consumer response to pricing and promotional tools. He has conducted fan research in almost every venue in sports including the NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS, NHL, and NASCAR.

Wakefield developed the Sports Sponsorship & Sales program and its advisory board of over 95 members from major league teams, leagues, and corporate partners. He also founded and serves as publisher & editor of The Baylor S3 Report (www.baylors3.com), the industry-leading publication featuring best practices in sports sales and marketing written by the sports industry for the industry. His consulting work includes sponsorship metrics for a wide variety of professional sports franchises and global brands.

His research has been published articles in the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Advertising, and the Journal of Advertising Research, among others. He is on the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Sport Management and serves as a Consulting Scholar for Y&R’s BAV Consulting. Wakefield is the author of Team Sports Marketing, now widely used in universities nationwide and available online at www.teamsportsmarketing.com.

Wakefield received his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1980 from Southwest Baptist University, his master's degree in business administration from Baylor in 1981 and his doctoral degree from Saint Louis University in 1991.

Wakefield has been interviewed by numerous media including The Huffington Post, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Sports Business Daily, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Sacramento Bee, San Antonio Express-News, Baltimore Sun, Kansas City Star, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Detroit News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune, among others.

Industry Expertise (3)


Market Research


Areas of Expertise (6)

Sports Marketing

Sports Branding

Sports Psychology

Team Sports Marketing

Entertainment Marketing

Fan and Consumer Response to Pricing and Promotional Tools

Education (3)

Saint Louis University: Ph.D., Business Administration 1991

Baylor University: M.B.A., Business Administration 1981

Southwest Baptist University: B.A., Business Administration 1980

Affiliations (3)

  • CRM Steering Committee, SEAT Consortium
  • Academy of Marketing Science
  • American Marketing Assocation

Media Appearances (19)

Pandemic Propels Sports Sponsorships To Outperform Expectations

Forbes  online


Kirk Wakefield, Ph.D., The Edwin W. Streetman Professor of Retail Marketing and executive director of Sports Strategy & Sales in Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, writes about how the pandemic-inspired digital transformation combined with pent-up demand and the unifying nature of sports led to more effective sponsorship campaigns in 2020 than in 2019—among those willing to stick with it to capitalize on the circumstances.

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Why All Your Favorite Athletes Are Selling Supplements Now

Men's Health  online


Kirk Wakefield, Ph.D., professor of sports marketing who studies how pro athletes influence sports enthusiasts, is quoted in this article about the trend of athletes promoting their own dietary supplement brands.

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Escape From 2020: A Case to Separate Sports and Politics For More Fans And Higher Ratings

Forbes  online


Kirk Wakefield, Ph.D., the Edwin W. Streetman Professor of Retail Marketing and executive director of Sports Strategy & Sales in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, writes about the connection between sports, politics and how national teams can be marketed to target specific audiences.

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Baylor Connections: Kirk Wakefield

Baylor Connections  online


AUDIO: Kirk Wakefield, Ph.D., Edwin W. Streetman Professor of Retail Marketing and executive director of Sports Strategy & Sales, Hankamer School of Business, analyzes how teams at both the professional and collegiate levels navigate change, engage fans and work to make the best of uncertain times.

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Poll: NFL Fans Prefer Players Stand, But OK With Kneeling

Forbes  online


Kirk Wakefield, Ph.D., Edwin W. Streetman Professor of Retail Marketing, Hankamer School of Business, shares poll results which reveal NFL fans’ opinions of players kneeling and gives his expert opinion on the lasting effects of kneeling.

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Evidence From The Internet: How The Pandemic Sparks Sports Fans On Twitter

Forbes  online


Baylor marketing professor Kirk Wakefield, Ph.D., executive director of the Sports Sponsorship & Sales program, writes about new social media data that provides behavioral evidence of fans’ passion for sports and how they miss the emotional outlet, the socialization, the competition and the joy sports bring to the community.

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How Are Sports Fans Taking The Coronavirus Cancellations?

Forbes  online


With the NBA, the NHL, MLS and the NCAA shuttering operations because of the coronavirus outbreak, what’s a sports fan to do? Will fan passion sustain, wax or wane?

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Expert Answers the Question: ‘Why Do We Root for the Underdog?’

Forbes  online


Kirk Wakefield, Ph.D., the Edwin W. Streetman Professor of Retail Marketing and executive director of Sports Sponsorship & Sales, shares his study via Forbes about sports fans and what they'll during absence of major sporting events.

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NHL Seeks Stadium Series Refresh With Air Force Academy Weekend

Front Office Sports  online


Baylor marketing professor Kirk Wakefield, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Sports Strategy and Sales, is quoted in this article about the NHL seeking new and unique venues, including military academies, for its slate of outdoor games.

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The XFL Is Back. Will The Reboot Work?

Texas Standard  online


Baylor marketing professor Kirk Wakefield, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Sports Strategy and Sales, is interviewed for this story on the XFL’s second go-round.

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NFL TV Ratings: Why People (Won't) Watch

Forbes  online


Kirk Wakefield, Ph.D., The Edwin W. Streetman Professor of Retail Marketing and executive director of Sports Sponsorship & Sales at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, penned this Forbes column about the changing NFL viewing landscape. “Sports teams once thought increasing broadcast access might cannibalize attendance. The reality is increased exposure and access increase the overall fan base and may have no effect at all on attendance,” he wrote.

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Study finds Walmart.com closing the price gap with Amazon

Consumer Affairs  online


Baylor professor Kirk Wakefield, Ph.D., professor and holder of the Edwin W. Streetman Professorship in retail management, is quoted in this story about a study which shows that Walmart has made dramatic progress this year in closing the online price gap with Amazon, giving consumers more low-price options. “Walmart is able to compete with Amazon because they already have huge market penetration, can stock inventory for large-scale distribution and have already been actively refining their online order systems,” Wakefield said.

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BU professors study passion-driven sports media

Baylor Lariat  online


Social media use during sporting events is completely driven by passion, which is different than excitement over the sporting event, according to a study done by Baylor professors, “When we say passionate, we mean you devote your heart, mind, body and soul,” said Dr. Kirk Wakefield, executive director of the Center for Sports, Sponsorship and Sales at the Hankamer School of Business. “The question is: to what extent can you live without it? You can say you love something, but you aren’t really passionate about it unless you allot time to spend with that person or that thing, so we measured how much time is prioritized to measure NASCAR in this case.”

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Is There Room for Sports to Get Even More Commercialized?

The Atlantic  online


Sponsorships came into their own as communications technologies evolved, and in 1922, AT&T became the first corporate sponsor of a game broadcast on the radio. “When games began being broadcast on radio and then TV, then the opportunity for sponsorships took off,” says Kirk Wakefield, a professor of retail marketing at Baylor University. “Today,” Wakefield adds, “the media deals are one of the primary sources of revenue for sports properties, with the broadcast companies and the properties selling ad time to sponsors. Without sponsors—‘This game is brought to you by…’—we wouldn’t have games to watch, so it’s funny when anyone complains about sponsorships.” This is how sponsorships proceeded for much of the 20th century: Professional sports leagues needed money, so companies gave it to them, usually in exchange for the occasional commentator shout-out or some stadium signage.

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NFL Sponsorships Pay Off for Advertisers

Baylor Media and Public Relations  online


Company sponsorship of the National Football League (NFL) is effective in engaging fans and transforming attitudes critical to making purchasing decisions, according to a research paper presented at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, March 2-3 in Boston.

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Baylor Professor's Paper is a Finalist for MIT's Sports Analytics Conference, Open for Voting on ESPN.com

Baylor Media and Public Relations  online


A paper authored by Dr. Kirk Wakefield, Edwin W. Streetman Professor of Retail Marketing in the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, and Anne Rivers, senior vice president at Brand Assets Consulting, is one of 10 finalists for best paper at the upcoming MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.

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Is Super Bowl Advertising Worth the Cost?

Baylor Media and Public Relations  online


It depends, according to Kirk Wakefield, Ph.D., executive director of Sports and Entertainment Marketing at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business and sports marketing blogger.

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Fan Reaction to Sports Ads At Homestead-Miami Speedway to be studied by Baylor University Using RFID

Baylor Media and Public Relations  


Kirk Wakefield, Ph.D. of Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, has received a grant from The Wharton School's Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative to use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to study fan engagement with sponsors at sporting events.

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Baylor Researchers Find Consumers' Expectations of Real Estate Agents Rely on Three Factors

Baylor Media and Public Relations  online


A Baylor University business study of recent home buyers and sellers found that most consumers rely on three basic factors when deciding on an individual real estate agent for buying or selling a home.

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Articles (4)

Is Background Music Effective On Retail Websites?

Journal of Promotion Management

2017 Web designers often advise online retailers against incorporating background music on websites. However, the effect of music in brick-and-mortar retail settings has generally been found to be favorable. The research on the effects of music has been mixed. Our study aims to examine whether congruent music on the website homepage influences online consumers. Using the responses of 290 visitors to two different commercial websites, we test the influence of background music on consumers’ arousal and pleasure perceptions. The results indicate congruent background music on a website's homepage will generate positive affective responses of arousal and pleasure within users, and will enhance users’ perceived usefulness and perceived enjoyment as well. The findings reveal the effects of respondent’ affective responses to the music differed by gender. Website music produces significant affective and cognitive responses in high web skill/low web challenge users and explains more of website enjoyment.

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Retrospective: the importance of servicescapes in leisure service settings

Journal of Services Marketing

2016 The purpose of the paper is to review the contribution of the paper, “The Importance of Servicescapes in Leisure Service Settings” to the discipline and to offer directions for further research and developments in the research area.

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Social media network behavior: A study of user passion and affect

The Journal of Strategic Information Systems

2016 Social media technologies are described as an ensemble IS artefact composed of technical, informational and relational subsystems that interact distinctly according to the context of use. With an emphasis on these dimensions, we build a conceptual framework to examine the influence of user affect and passion for an activity on social media networks, specifically Facebook and Twitter. The research model is based on Affective Events Theory and tested using the responses of 328 attendees of a National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) event. The results indicate that excitement may not be sufficient to motivate content creation and sharing activities in social media. However, in the context of a meaningful event, excitement interacts with user passion to facilitate social media use. One strategic insight is the knowledge that user (or customer) passion is a condition favorable for social media engagement, representing a lucrative opportunity for organizations to meaningfully engage with consumers.

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Using Fan Passion to Predict Attendance, Media Consumption, and Social Media Behaviors

Journal of Sport Management

2016 Passion drives sport consumption, but we lack valid relevant measures of passion. The results of two studies provide evidence of a reliable and valid multiple-item passion scale that may be used in the study of sports-related consumption behavior. In Study 1 a multi-item fan passion scale was compared with established social identification fan classification scales to provide evidence of discriminant and predictive validity. Because the passion scale outperformed other relevant fan classification measures, in Study 2 the fan passion scale was compared with current single-item measurement practices employed by National Football League and Major League Baseball teams, and some academics, to classify fans. Findings confirmed the veracity of the multi-item passion measure over categorical and interval fan avidity measures used by leagues and syndicated research providers. Taken together, the studies validate an accurate measure of fan passion that may be used to segment and predict fan behaviors, including consumption of traditional media (television, radio, news, and the team’s website) and consumption of the team’s official social media outlets.

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