Jim Kahler

Jim Kahler
Executive in Residence, Faculty and Director of Sports Gambling, Education
Ohio University

Jim Kahler is an Executive in Residence and Faculty Member of the Sports Administration Program at Ohio University. He also serves as the Director of Sports Gambling Education (SGE) within the department and College of Business. 

In December of 2005 he returned to his alma mater as the Executive Director of the AECOM Center for Sports Administration (CSA) and the Director of the Maters In Sports Administration Program with a focus on taking the graduate program to the next level with the creation of a center that would carry forward the university's pioneering tradition in sports management education. The AECOM Center for Sports Administration links faculty, students and alumni to sports-related organizations and businesses, emphasizing research and harnessing knowledge to benefit the industry. 

In January of 2016 he stepped down as the Director of the MSA Program to put his full time focus on the CSA with a focus on development and building endowed scholarships and graduate assistant funding for the MSA Program. 

Prior to returning to Ohio University, where Kahler was a member of the MSA Class of 1981, he spent the previous three and one-half years at Arizona State University where he helped develop the MBA Sports Business Program at the W.P. Carey School of Business. Jim served as the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA) and Rockers (WNBA). Responsible for ticket, corporate and broadcast sales, marketing and public relations and the development of MAC Properties and Gund Sports Marketing. 

Jim accepted his position with the Cavaliers after working as the Director of Marketing for Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Director of Marketing for the St. Louis Arena, and as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for SRO/PACE. 

Among his other accomplishments include the 1994 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the O.U. Sports Administration Program and the 2019 BDSE Trailblazer Award presented by the National Sports Forum. Making A World of Difference Award. He also served a three-year term (1997 - 2000) on the NBA's Marketing Advisory Committee. Today serves on the Advisory Board for several sports business organizations including the National Sports Forum (San Diego, CA) and Navigate Research (Chicago, IL).


  • Sports Marketing
  • Referral Based Marketing
  • Sports Gambling Education
  • Sponsorship Research
  • Sales Trainer

Ohio University
14 years 10 months

Executive in Residence , Faculty and Director of Sports Gambling Education
July 2020 - Present (3 months)
Athens, Ohio
Executive in Residence and Faculty Member of the Sports Administration Program at Ohio University. He also serves as the Director of Sports Gambling Education (SGE) within the department and College of Business.

Executive Director, Center for Sports Administration
December 2005 - July 2020 (14 years 8 months)

Forty years ago when the idea for an academic program built around sports administration came to fruition, one could hardly predict the level of complexity that the sports industry has become today. Through the years, the sports industry has continued to evolve, becoming increasingly global and more complex in its approach to business. As such, Ohio University’s Center for Sports Administration was founded to serve as a resource to solve the increasingly difficult issues facing the sports industry. 

The Center for Sports Administration serves as a platform, bringing together various constituent groups associated with the Ohio University Sports Administration Program. Each of these groups benefit from the Center’s unique arrangement:

  • Alumni of the Program can come to the Center for solutions to issues that present particular challenges to their organizations. The Center will then use its resources at its disposal to find workable solutions to these challenges.
  • Current Students enrolled in the SAFM program will be given the opportunity to research solutions to industry challenges while applying the skill that he/ she has acquired throughout their two-year course of studies in the MBA/ MSA program. Through their research efforts, students will increase their knowledge base, while building their own personal networks.
  • The Sport Industry will benefit from the results that are yielded from student research. The Center posts the findings from students on its website, which will become and has become an online destination for industry professionals looking for answers to perplexing issues affecting their organizations.

To apply to the sports administration graduate programs, please visit www.ohio.edu/graduate.

Cleveland Cavaliers
Sr. VP Sales & Marketing
November 1991 - July 2002 (10 years 9 months)

Ohio University
Masters in Sports Administration, Sports Business · (1980 - June 1981)
Xavier University
Bachelors in Business Administration, Marketing · (1976 - 1980)