Better Know A Faculty: Dr. David Ely, Managerial Economics

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. David Ely, professor of Managerial Economics written by Johnny Du, SMBA ’13.



Dr. David Ely joined the SMBA program in the summer of 2013. He received his Bachelor’s in Economics from the same esteemed school that produced our very own John Lutz (SMBA ’13), West Virginia University. After a few years as a statistician at the U.S. Census Bureau, the then non-Dr. Ely returned to school to become just that. He completed his Master’s and Ph.D. in Economics at *THE* Ohio State University, which will surely make Ryan Flanagan (SMBA ’13) happy.

He immediately joined SDSU’s finance faculty upon receiving his doctorate and has been here ever since, accumulating over 25 years worth of teaching experience at Montezuma Mesa. Or you know, about as long as most of SMBA ’15 has been alive.

His course provided an intensive overview of managerial economic concepts in a sports context. Topics covered included sports franchises as profit maximizers, monopolies and antitrust laws, competitive balance, public financing of teams and facilities, costs and benefits of a franchise to a city, sports labor markets labor discrimination, and college sports. The course included group presentations (but of course!) that painted a picture of the size and scope of the sports industry within San Diego County.

Below are his Five Questions responses. Thanks for taking the time, Dr. Ely!

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

While I have taught managerial economics in the regular MBA program for many years, this is the third year I am teaching in the Sports MBA program.

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

Being able to discuss economics with students who are very passionate about sports businesses.

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

So many insights can be gained into the behavior of sports businesses by applying basic economics. Students will be able to discuss the unique characteristics of sports markets and why they matter, contribute toward pricing decisions, comment on the value of sports franchises, evaluate the economic impact of sports franchises on a city, and discuss pay to professional athletes.

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

Enroll in a rigorous MBA program from an AACSB-accredited school, but one entirely focused on the sports industry. SDSU’s program offers great field experiences, including an internship and time in the Dominican Republic, built into the program. You will have multiple networking opportunities while a student and as an alum.

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

Breaking Away, a film from the 1970s, is one of my favorite sports movies.



Originally post on the San Diego State SMBA Class of 2013 blog