The Southern Sport Management Association (SSMA) became the Applied Sport Management Association in March 2015. The Southern Sport Management Association got its start in the spring of 2005 at Troy University with a professional conference directed by Dr. Fred Green and Dr. Jason Lee. Green started at Troy University in 2004 after 9 years at Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina. Although the first conference for the SSMA took place in 2005, the idea goes back to the early 1990’s. While doctoral students at Florida State University in 1992, Green discussed the need for a conference oriented toward sport management students with his fellow doctoral students, Dr. Joel Erdmann, Dr. Lance Tatum and Dr. Dan Connaughton. Green and Erdmann went so far as to attend the second annual sport management conference at Georgia Southern University in 1994.
Once Green received his PhD and started his career as a professor at Newberry College in 1995, he began gathering more information on starting a conference. He was a regular at the Georgia Southern Conference where he always took a group of students. Green joined SCAHPERD the South Carolina branch of AAHPERD and attended Southern District meetings. Here he came up with the idea of forming an association of sport management professionals in the southeast related to NASSM, similar to how Southern District was in relation to AAHPERD. To get the ball rolling he started a conference at Newberry College in 1998. Although the conference was well received and was presented informally by SCAHPERD there was no financial backing by Newberry College or SCAHPERD so the conference ended after several years. An interesting side note is that one of the speakers at the 2000 conference was Dr. Ben Goss who helped grow the ASMA.
While working together at Troy University Lee and Green had many conversations about a regional association and a sport management conference. The vision when first discussed, was to provide a regional affordable conference in the southeast for professors and students to interact with professionals and discuss ways of improving the field. As more people were embracing the vision, the conference continued to grow and provided sport management a regional outlet of information. Lee and Green directed the first two conferences with the help of Dr. Dan Drane – University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. Colby Jubenville – Middle Tennessee State University and Dr. Goss. Year 3 brought about many changes to the fledging organization. Drane and USM agreed to host the conference in Biloxi and then Hurricane Katrina hit. So, the conference moved back to Troy University, however, with some new direction, since Dr. Lee left Troy University for a position at the University of North Florida.
Year 3 also brought a very influential individual into the mix as Dr. Damon Andrew from the University of Tennessee came to speak at the conference. Andrew was so impressed with Troy University that he became the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services. Andrew worked with Green and others in growing the conference and the association. Andrew’s office funded the first Sport Management Scholar Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented to Dr. Packianathan Chelladurai. This began a strong growth period for the association and conference. During this time Dr. Mike Martinez was hired by Troy University. He soon took a strong leadership role with the association. Dr. Laura Hatfield, Dr. Matt Walker and Dr. Adam Love all contributed to the growth of the association during this period. Another important development was the honoring of Dr. Bill Sutton as a lifetime achievement scholar. Upon learning more about the association and the conference, Sutton agreed to be president of the association and helped elevate the status of the group. Also, during this time, Jubenville was working at creating a journal in applied sport management. Once the journal was up and running, Jubenville, Goss and other leaders negotiated with Green, Andrew and Martinez to make the journal the official journal of the Southern Sport Management Association.
As the journal was gaining traction in the field, the association formed an official board of directors and Dr. Andrew and Dr. Matt Walker became editors of the journal. The first official board of directors meeting for the SSMA was held at the Troy Marriott in April of 2013. By this time Martinez was the president of the association and the those present at the meeting were, Damon Andrew, Ben Goss, Fred Green, Laura Hatfield, Colby Jubenville, Adam Love, Mike Martinez, Bill Sutton and Matt Walker. Things were moving quickly and the conference was finally moving away from Troy University. The 10th annual conference was held in Nashville, Tennessee, with the backing of the Nashville Predators, March 26-28 2014. Green was taking on a diminishing role and was presented the Founding Presidents award at the conference. The board, recognizing the growth of the journal and the need for a more national presence, initiated discussions about forming a national applied sport management association. Things again moved quickly, as Andrew and Martinez took positions at LSU and the last Southern Sport Management Association conference was held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – February of 2015. In March 2015 the board voted to form the Applied Sport Management Association and the 1st conference was held in Baton Rouge in 2016.
History provided by: Dr. Fred Green, Troy University