Better Know A Faculty: Dr. Andrew Baker, Sports Marketing Research

Throughout the remainder of the year, the Better Know A Faculty series will shed some extra light on the outstanding faculty of San Diego State’s Sports MBA program. These interviews and stories have been compiled throughout the last few years by various Sports MBA classes. This edition of Better Know A Faculty will feature Dr. Andrew Baker, professor of Sports Marketing Research written by Johnny Du, SMBA ’13.


The youngest person on the SDSU Sports MBA faculty block , Dr. Andrew Baker takes his turn under the Better Know A Faculty sun. Speaking of the sun and having a little fun in said sun (as it were), the above picture depicts our MKT 766: Seminar in Marketing Research professor crossing the finish line of the Death Valley Trail Marathon in 2011. Although the race was cancelled and never officially run, Dr. Baker and some friends decided to run the course anyway, just because.

Dr. Baker is a Michigan native who received his B.S. in marketing and MBA at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He relocated to the deep South to receive his marketing Ph.D. at Georgia State University, which he received just last year. It took a ridiculous 11 years of higher education, but Dr. Baker finally had a football team to call his own when the Georgia State Panthers began play in 2010 in NCAA Division I FCS. Dr. Baker joined the SDSU Marketing Department the fall after finishing his studies.

Dr. Baker has a lengthy record of being terrible at team sports (although not for a lack of trying), so now his athletic pursuits are manifested in individual long-distance runs (half-marathons and marathons). A passionate and vocal Detroit Lions and Tigers fan, Joey Harrington is his all-time favorite sporting person. Please note this video was our “reward” for completing an online peer evaluation.

An all-too familiar Joey Harrington pose.

In our Marketing Research course, we learned about the differences between primary and secondary research, secondary research databases such as PRIZM, sampling (and related issues), designing experiments and surveys (in a way that doesn’t bore the respondent), writing and responding to market research proposals, and internal and external validity. Towards the end of the course, we began delving into more complex analytical methods like ASSESSOR models, conjoint analysis and automatic linear modeling. We also got very, very familiar with SPSS statistical software

Our overarching group project for the course was conducting market research on behalf of a potential new golf-related program in the southern California region. We had to collect survey responses and then analyze the data in a way to determine the ideal target market for the founders of the program to pursue. The project culminated in a presentation and final paper outlining the process. Our final was a take-home exam was similar to the group project, but on an individual basis: we were required to write a market research response to a proposal from a hypothetical events company.

This year hopefully marks the first of several years that Dr. Baker will be on the Sports MBA faculty roster. .Below are his responses to our tough, hardball inquiries. Thanks, Dr. Baker!

1. When did you start teaching in the program? How did the opportunity come about?

I have always been passionate about teaching marketing research, and I was excited that there was a need in the sports MBA program to have this area covered. I started teaching the sports MBA program this semester (Fall 2012).

2. What do you enjoy most about teaching in the Sports MBA program?

I enjoy interacting with students who are passionate about their future careers, and its very exciting when all of the students are as passionate about an exciting area like sports business!

CEO of Pro Kids, Keith Padgett (left) and Dr. Andy Baker (right) address the class following the final presentations.
Dr. Andy Baker (right) address the class following the final presentations for Sports Market Research class.

3. In your respective course, what are the main takeaway(s) you are hoping the cohort gets (or got, if the course has completed)?

Structured thinking and conducting rigorous, objective research is always a powerful way to answer business problems. Thus, broadly speaking, my overarching goal in teaching marketing research to sports MBAs is to encourage disciplined, organized analysis as a way to solve typical sports business problems. I also hope to provide sports MBAs with specific marketing research tools and techniques that can be frequently utilized to solve common sports marketing problems.

4. Someone walks up, says they have been offered admission into SMBA and asks you “Why should I enroll?” Your response is:

Join the SDSU Sports MBA program if you want an immersive sports business education. Join if you want more than just a collection of courses about sports business. Join if you want to be surrounded by like-minded students. Join if you want to have frequent, intense exposure to top players across the sports business landscape. Join because you want a lifetime career in sports business and you want your education to reflect a commitment to that dream.

5. Your (hopefully inspirational and uplifting) sports movie of choice is…? Because…?

Rookie of the Year. Mostly because its the only movie that portrays the only conceivable way I could live my fantasy of being a professional baseball player. I occasionally work on my floater pitch…

One Reply to “Better Know A Faculty: Dr. Andrew Baker, Sports Marketing Research”

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