Considered one of the founding fathers of the field of Sport Management, Fielding has distinguished himself as a research scholar in three academic disciplines: sport history, sport management and kinesiology.
While most sports historians were focusing on the relationship between sports and society and culture, Fielding analyzed the business of sports. He examined the performance and practices of entrepreneurial sports organizations like the Harlem Globetrotters and analyzed trends in the sporting goods industry, athletics marketing, professional sports ticket distribution agencies and other sports-related businesses.
One scholarly article described the Indiana University professor as “perhaps the best example of an academician who brought sports business history into the realm of sport management.”
In addition to teaching, Fielding has directed Indiana University’s sports marketing/management program since 1996.
The former physical education major has helped establish sport management degrees at the University of Louisville and at Indiana University. He has delivered several keynote talks related to his fields of study and written more than 60 published academic articles.
Named the Young Faculty Researcher of the Year at the University of Louisville in 1978, Fielding was chosen to deliver the Stewart C. Staley Address at a North American Society for Sport History event in 1985 and was tapped as a research fellow by the North American Society for Sport Management in 2002.
Fielding’s passion for academics, he said, was born at Cortland during his freshman year. “At Cortland, I quickly found that I needed to work in order to survive,” Fielding said. “I learned a lesson that stayed with me not just for my Cortland years but ever since.”
Fielding said that he was among the first group of Cortland students selected by Whitney “Pete” Corey ’43, the College’s Physical Education Department chair at the time, to present an undergraduate thesis in 1966.
“I don’t know how good of a thesis it was,” said Fielding, who compiled research on human movement. “But it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.”
He went on to earn a master’s and doctoral degree in sport history from the University of Maryland, where he also taught as an instructor in the Kinesiology Department from 1970 to 1975.
Fielding taught on the Kinesiology Department faculty at the University of Louisville for 22 years, achieving the rank of professor in 1986 and serving as department chair from 1986 to 1993.
In 1995, Fielding joined Indiana University as a visiting professor and attained the rank of professor in 1996. From 2002 to 2010, he also directed the Kinesiology Department’s graduate program.
Fielding stayed connected to the field of sport history by serving as a reviewer and a book review editor for the Journal of Sport History during the late 1970s and early 1980s. He also served as a member at large on the North American Society for Sport History Executive Council from 1979 to 1981 and from 1985 to 1987.
A native of Corning, N.Y., Fielding resides in Louisville, Ky., with his wife, Joan Ebtinger Fielding ’66. The couple has three grown children: Kent, Scott and Jaimie Lynn.