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Temple’s Sports Industry Research Center Appoints New Director

By: Laila Samphilipo
First Published: May 15, 2024
Topics: SIRC, Sport, STHM School


When associate professor Gareth Jones was a master’s student at Temple University, it was the Sports Industry Research Center (SIRC) that helped launch his passion for research. 

Now, a decade later, he is the center’s director. 

Jones brings a wealth of knowledge to SIRC through his experience working extensively with industry partners, securing grants and publishing research in academic journals. 

SIRC partners with international businesses, sport and event organizations to provide innovative marketing and management services. The collaborative research center aims to advance the future of sport—a mission Jones has firmly believed in since he was a Temple master’s student working at SIRC years ago. 

“I’m very excited by the appointment,” says Jones. “What makes it even sweeter is that SIRC is one of the things that kick-started my interest in research when I was a Temple master’s student, so it’s great to be in a position to give back now.” 

As director, Jones will focus on leveraging SIRC to benefit the local Philadelphia area. While SIRC has partnered with major sports organizations like the NCAA, the center is committed to expanding the center’s impact at the local level, too. 

One local partnership is with Students Run Philly Style, a nonprofit organization that helps transform students’ lives through running and mentorship. Volunteer mentors are paired with teams of students to help train to run a marathon or half-marathon. 

“SIRC has been an incredibly meaningful partner to our organization for more than a decade,” says Lauren Kobylarz, executive director of Students Run Philly Style. “We wouldn’t be where we are without the center’s thoughtful evaluation of our work and impact supporting young people across Philadelphia.”

For over a decade, SIRC has helped the nonprofit secure grants and gather participant-level data. By issuing pre-and-post-season surveys to participants, SIRC has been able to evaluate the impact of the program on participants year after year. 

“We look to make sure that we’re doing research that’s not only interesting, but impactful in real time,” says Jones. “They’re taking our findings and implementing them.”

Through SIRC’s partnership with Students Run Philly Style and other organizations, Jones says there are opportunities for Temple students to get involved in diverse research processes. He envisions SIRC being a beacon of thought leadership in the sports industry. 

“We’re trying to ensure that we’re a thought leader,” Jones says. “Not just doing research on current issues as they arise, but looking to the future and anticipating how the industry might change and helping folks preemptively and strategically grapple with some of those changes.” 

For Jones, the mission is straightforward.

“I want to do as much as I can to support those who are doing tremendous work on the ground.”