Dr. Bill Sutton is an enduring example of connecting the sport marketing academic discipline to the industry of sport marketing. As such, the purpose of the Sutton Award is to recognize an educator of sport marketing who best exemplifies the mission of the SMA, which is primarily concerned with the expansion of the body of knowledge through connection to the sport industry.


2019 Sutton Awardee

Dr. David Pierce
Associate Professor
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis


Award Description

This award is to honor an academician who makes exceptional contributions in one or more of the following areas:

  1. Excellence in research (strong publishing record)

  2. Excellence in teaching (pedagogical innovations, experiential learning, teaching methods, etc.)

  3. Excellence in connecting students with industry professionals

  4. Excellence in service to the Sport Marketing Association and other professional organizations


Any academic members of SMA is eligible to be nominated for the Sutton Award. Nominees must have been a member of the SMA for a minimum of five years. 


Nominations to receive the Sutton Award should be submitted no later than May 24, 2019. Self-nominations as well as nominations by current SMA members will be accepted until this date. In the nomination letter should evidence of the nominee's excellence in the four criteria areas listed above. 

Once nominations have been accepted, the SMA Awards Committee will notify the nominees of their consideration for the Sutton Award and request additional materials detailing their excellence in the areas listed above. Additional materials may include (but are not limited to): 1) a curriculum vita; 2) a written statement (not to exceed three pages) detailing the candidate’s contributions to the areas of research, teaching, service, and industry relations; 3) evidence of impact on students; and 4) up to four letters of support.

Nominees who do not receive the Sutton Award will be considered for two (2) years after their first nomination. Past nominees will be asked by a member of the SMA Awards Committee if they wish to be considered again and, if so, will need to re-submit updated materials.


Members from the SMA Awards Committee will evaluate candidates based on the criteria listed above. The committee's Chair will notify the SMA Executive Board of their recommendation no later than June 29, 2019. This selection will then be voted on by the SMA Executive Board. Upon approval, the award winner will be notified of their selection. The Sutton Award will be formally presented to the winner at the Awards Banquet of the 2019 SMA Conference in Chicago, IL.

Questions or comments regarding the awards process can be emailed directly to SMA Member-at-Large, Dr. Greg Greenhalgh, at gpgreenhalgh@vcu.edu.  


2012 - Bill Sutton, University of South Florida
2013 - Dick Irwin, University of Memphis
2014 - Chad McEvoy, Syracuse University
2015 - Jim Kadlecek, University of Mount Union
2016 - David Stotlar, University of Northern Colorado
2017 - Steve McKelvey, University of Massachusetts Amherst
2018 - Gregg Bennett, Texas A&M University

Make a Nomination

To make a nomination for the Sutton Award, please fill out the nomination form below. Simply fill out the required fields, copy and paste your nomination letter, and click "Submit." We will reply to the email address you provide once we've successfully received your nomination letter. Thank you!


Name *