NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Sitting on the sidelines has never been an option for Dr. Jason Reese, sports business program coordinator and assistant professor at Stephen F. Austin State University.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Reese worked with baseball marketing and sales for the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A Affiliate of the Houston Astros. While working toward his master’s degree, Reese taught a few game-changing classes.

“It hit me, teaching a younger generation is what I am called to do,” Reese said. “I decided I wanted to pursue my doctoral degree and become a sports marketing instructor to prepare future industry marketers.”

Since joining the faculty in SFA’s Rusche College of Business in 2014, Reese has been committed to changing lives, one Lumberjack at a time, through his interactive classes and the creation of the sports business program.

In his sports promotion course, Reese has provided students with the opportunity to work with the Houston Texans to sell individual and group tickets to the Battle of Piney Woods game each fall, which pits SFA against Sam Houston State University and is held at NRG Stadium, home of the Texans. In addition, students work with SFA Athletics to sell season, group and individual tickets to SFA football, basketball and baseball/softball games.

“This experiential learning opportunity allows students to gain marketable sales skills, such as client prospecting, cold calling, sales presentation development and closing strategies,” Reese said.   

Likewise, students also work with an online sports industry leader in sales and workforce training, 1Huddle, where students compete with other universities and professional sports teams in trivia-style games related to sales knowledge and skills development.

“Our students are using the same training software as more than 60 professional teams and college athletic programs,” Reese said. “This competition has led to numerous top 10 monthly finishes during the past couple of years. In fact, one month our students earned second place, just behind the Golden State Warriors.”

Reese has been an active member of the SFA community, serving as the 2018-19 chair of the Faculty Senate. Committees on which he has been a member include the presidential screening, athletic director search, chief of police search, Mr. and Miss SFA selection, and Texas common course numbering system. He also is the faculty advisor of the Sports Business Society and co-advisor of the American Marketing Association.

An award-winning faculty member, Reese has been recognized with the Distinguished Faculty Member Award, Distinguished Service Award, Rusche Faculty Scholar Award and the Junior Faculty Research Grant Award from the Global Sports Business Association. Most recently, he was recognized with an SFA Teaching Excellence Award for being an outstanding faculty member for the Rusche College of Business.

“I feel blessed because of the support I've received throughout my career from my colleagues and mentors,” Reese said. “That is what is really being recognized.”

The Teaching Excellence Award is based on knowledge of subject matter, quality of lectures and assignments, enthusiasm for teaching, interest in and availability to students, commitment to continuous improvement, and contribution to the quality of teaching at SFA by assisting and encouraging other faculty members.

“It means a lot to me because there are so many other faculty members in my college who are great teachers,” Reese said. “They are passionate about what they do and create great learning environments for their students. To be recognized by my college is humbling.”