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Sports Economics Professors Fort, Rascher, Zimbalist and Unruh and Sports Marketer Roy form Sports Business Simulations' Sim Development Advisory Board

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If you have any questions for the board, contact SBS at info@sportsbusinesssims.com

Oakland, CA - February 23, 2005 -- Sports Business Simulations, the Oakland-based organization that developed the Oakland Baseball Simworld and the XFL Simworld. has formed a new "Sim Development Advisory Board."

This new advisory board currently has five members: Sports Business Simulations' Co-Founder and University of San Francisco (USF) Professor of Economics Dan Rascher, Washington State University Professor of Economics Rodney Fort, Smith College Professor of Economics Andrew Zimbalist, Middle Tennessee State University Professor Donald Roy, and Associate Professor and Degree Coordinator for the Sports Administration Degree Program at the University of Nebraska Kearney, Dr. Nina Unruh.

SBS CEO and Co-Founder Zenophon Abraham explains the role of the new advisory board and the significance of the addition of the economists. "From the first time I sat down to develop the XFL Simworld and the Oakland Baseball Simworld, I have wanted to have online sims that reflect how sports organizations actually work and are therefore relevant to the matter of the resolution of real sports problems.

"When I met and then formed SBS with Dan Rascher, we had not only a team of sim producer in me and sim client in him, but two people who were interested in representing how sports businesses work online. We always talked about bringing more professors on in a special advisory board, and this board is an expression of that objective. But from my perspective I didn't think we would have the top two sports economists in the country so quickly. I think it speaks to the purity of our objectives and how good our sim products are. But Dan, Rod, Andy and Don and Nina will help make them better, just by offering their observations."

Each sports economist comes with a distinguished list of accomplishments. Rod Fort is on the board of the International Association of Sports Economists and is the author of the books "Pay Dirt" and "Sports Economics." Rascher is known as one of the top developers of sports management programs, coming to USF from the University of Massachusetts. Zimbalist is a well-known contributor to The Sports Business Journal and the author of the book "Sports and Economics" and has published thirteen books and several dozen articles primarily in the areas of comparative economic systems, economic development and sports economics.

Dan Rascher added his view "I've had the pleasure of knowing Rod and Andy for some time, and I'm looking forward to their input. Rod and I have already been pushing for the development of a simulation of Major League Baseball, and Zennie's working on that. I know Andy can bring more insight into the development of that simulation and the improvement of our Oakland sim."

Rod Fort has used the Oakland Baseball Simworld in his Econ 330 class at Washington State University and has won an award for his use of the sim in his curriculum "I think SBS has a very innovative tool for use in not just the sports economics classroom, but the business classroom period. I am happy to be a part of the continued development and improvement of SBS sim products, and see through the creation of the Major League Baseball Simworld."

Like Fort, Andrew Zimbalist is a tireless contributor to the debate on the reformation of the business of baseball. He thinks the Oakland Baseball Simworld is a unique product that only enhances the classroom experience. "I'm new to using the SBS sims but I've been impressed with not only what I've seen but the team of people that SBS is assembling."

Joining the sports economists is a marketer. He is Donald Roy, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Jennings A. Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University. His research and teaching focus on marketing communications and sports marketing. He has published articles in the International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship, Journal of Advertising, Services Marketing Quarterly, Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, and Sport Marketing Quarterly. Roy has engaged in several service projects with sport organizations in the Middle Tennessee area including the Tennessee Titans, Nashville Predators, and Nashville Superspeedway.

Dr. Nina Unruh is one of SBS' most frequent users of the Oakland Baseball Simworld. From her post as Associate Professor and Degree Coordinator for the Sports Administration Degree Program at the University of Nebraska Kearney, Dr. Unruh is one of the best pure teachers of sports economics and sports marketing in the country. Teaching courses in Organization and Administration in Sport and Recreation, Economics and Finance of Sport, Legal Aspect of Sport and Sport Marketing is the bulk of her teaching load at UNK. Dr. Unruh believes that is important that her students get as much real life experiences with her courses as possible so each class has a project that students must complete applying the knowledge and skills that they have gained in class. She has published in The Journal Of Physical Education Health Recreation and Dance and The Journal of Athletic Training.

As an aspiring professor, Joris Drayer is currently working on his Ph.D. in Sport Administration at the University of Northern Colorado. With a primary focus on Sport Finance, he initially became interested in the simulation while completing his Masterís Degree at USF under Dr. Rascher and found an opportunity to introduce the program into the curriculum at UNC. Mr. Drayer has a further interest in the Oakland Baseball Simworld as he spent four years on staff with the Athletics in marketing as well as baseball operations. "With their unique situation in a small-midsize market, the A's franchise is perfect for this program," he said. "Further, their current battle to build a new facility adds an exciting real-world aspect to the simulation. My first attempt at applying the Simulator to the Sport Finance course at UNC was wildly successful and Iím excited to build on the experience."

Dr. Michael Smucker is an Assistant Professor at the University of Tampa where he teaches classes in sport finance, sales, and introduction to sport management. Previously, he has also taught courses in marketing and management. Dr. Smucker has published in respected outlets including International Journal of Sport Management, Journal of Sport Management, and Public Organization Review to name a few. In his current role at UT, Dr. Smucker strives to include active learning in the classroom to create a more authentically based learning environment through simulations, role play, and case study analysis. Enhancing student interaction and creating a student first environment is top priority for Dr. Smucker as he continues his career in sport management education.

On the Oakland Baseball Simworld, Dr. Unruh says "I can lecture on economics and financial decisions daily in class, but using the SBS Oakland Baseball Simulation brings these concepts to life for the students. It is when they actually have to make decisions about ticket prices, salaries and stadium issues that they realize that it is not all black and white and every decision they make effects twenty others. My students thoroughly enjoy the simulation assignment."

The Sim Advisory Board will have its' own special page within the SBS environment which will not only present the board members, but also have a gateway to a private blog that they can use to trade ideas. "But we'll use e-mail too," added Abraham.

"The process that will evolve is that we will periodically make major changes based on what the board comes up with and any ideas presented to the board," said Abraham. "What's so great about SBS"online foundation is that we can upgrade our simulations sometimes within one day."

Visit the SBS home page at http://www.sbs-world.com to learn about SBS.

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