Marymount professor seeks to build nation’s best sports management program

Marymount professor seeks to build nation’s best sports management program

While summer often evokes relaxation and leisure, Marymount University tennis coach and visiting professor Tim Bainton will spend the season laying the groundwork for a thriving sports management program as he plans new classes and events for the upcoming year.

A native of Chobham, England, Bainton fell in love with sports – particularly tennis – at a young age. 

“Living close to Wimbledon, tennis was just something I became interested in,” Bainton said. “I grew up in a place where we play cricket and rugby, but for some reason tennis stuck.”

He arrived in the U.S. through a tennis scholarship at George Mason University. Since then, he has made a name for himself as an athlete, coach and businessman, starting the sports facility management company Blue Chip Sports Management in 2009. 

He began his Marymount tenure in 2021 as a visiting professor in the College of Business, Innovation, Leadership and Technology and head coach of the men’s and women’s tennis teams, which have enjoyed considerable success under his leadership. They earned conference championships again this year, while Bainton and his staff were named the Atlantic East Conference Coaching Staff of the Year for the second straight time.

“We just keep having success after success,” Bainton said. “Our student-athletes are tremendous there are some really talented kids here. My goal was to build a nationally recognized program, and everyone who is part of the tennis program buys into that expectation and culture of excellence and winning. Coaching at Marymount is very special.”

However, Bainton also has grand plans for the future of sports management education at Marymount, in addition to coaching and teaching.

“When I came here, I told the administration that I wanted to build the preeminent sports management program in the College of BILT,” Bainton explained. “I want Marymount to be the hub of sports marketing and management for not just the DMV, but the country.” 

To do this, Bainton and BILT staff are working to turn the sports management minor into a full-blown degree program. 

“There is a lot of interest in the minor as classes are full and engagement is high,” Bainton said. “There is also interest in sports management becoming an MBA track and partnering with the newly formed hospitality management program. There are lots of things to consider, but I’m hopeful the program will get off the ground within the next few years.”

Rising senior Samir Rahman, a business administration student minoring in sports management, believes the potential major would greatly benefit students and help Marymount stay ahead of the curve with innovative programming.

“The sports business industry is growing rapidly and is expected to increase by a huge percentage by 2030,” Rahman said. “Whether someone is interested in a sports career or maybe not exactly sure what they want to pursue, a sports management program can help them gain all the necessary knowledge to succeed in the industry after college.”

Marymount professor seeks to build nation’s best sports management program

Bainton decided to go online to lay the program’s foundations. In 2022, he launched the Marymount Sports Management Instagram account which now has over 13,000 followers to increase its visibility. He uses the account to advertise for a variety of initiatives, such as internship placements, guest speaker presentations and sports management events.

Pulling from his vast network in business management and sports, Bainton has brought many high-profile speakers to campus. They include Devin Bode, WWE’s Director of Sponsorship Strategy and Integrated Marketing Partnerships; Clark Burckle, an entrepreneur and former Olympic swimmer; and Bram Weinstein, the Washington Commanders’ broadcast announcer.

Another initiative Bainton created is the SportsX series, which sharpens students’ public speaking skills as they present on sports industry topics. This spurred the formation of the Storytellers event, an opportunity for Marymount students and student-athletes to share their journeys via moderated interviews.

Bainton also uses his own business to support Marymount’s sports management program. 

“At Blue Chip, we take on about 24 interns a year from Marymount,” Bainton said. “We also sponsor a lot of the SportsX and Storyteller events. In the future, I hope we can endow scholarship money for students and student-athletes in the sports management program.”

For this upcoming academic year, Bainton will teach a new sports analytics course this summer, while the SportsX series will expand to include a symposium on sports careers. He also hopes to create a podcast and learning archive from recorded student and guest speaker presentations. 

“Students are vital and are a big part of the reason why the program has seen so much success and is continuing to grow,” Bainton said. “I believe that listening, surveying and understanding the wants, needs and desires of students is key to the growth and sustainability of the program.”

Bainton is confident that, with the help of student input and engagement, Marymount’s sports management program will exponentially grow in the coming years. 

“It will serve as a beacon to raise the University’s profile, retain and engage talented and diverse students, garner investments and solidify partnerships.”