College of Health and Human Performance

Christopher McLeod Recognized by North American Society for the Sociology of Sport

December 5, 2023

Christopher M. McLeod, Ph.D., assistant professor in sport management, was honored by the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), earning the Early Career Research Award and being named a Research Fellow. Additionally, McLeod was invited to join the editorial board of “Sociology of Sport Journal.”

The Early Career Research Award recognizes McLeod’s significant scholarly contributions to the sociology of sport. It has been awarded annually since 2013 to a member earning their Ph.D within the past seven years. Fellow status is bestowed upon society members with a continuous and high quality record of scholarship, including significant refereed journal articles and presentations.

McLeod studies athletes' work, development, and employment conditions with a focus on athlete-centric approaches. Based on research with new leagues in the U.S., he created the concept of a human capital ecosystem (e.g., Major League Rugby, National Pro Fastpitch, National Women's Hockey League, Premier Lacrosse League). He is currently leading a team of researchers that use a mix of analytics and qualitative methods to examine whether athletes overestimate their chances of "making it." His goal is to create a theory helping athletes make excellent decisions about their careers, contracts and human capital investments.

“The department is incredibly proud of Dr. McLeod's achievements," said George Cunningham, chair of the Department of Sport Management. “Dr. McLeod's concept of a human capital ecosystem has opened new avenues for understanding the complex dynamics of sports organizations. We congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition and look forward to witnessing the continued impact of his research.”

McLeod joins a growing list of college faculty recognized as fellows by 14 distinct academies, associations and societies. These fellowships are a mark of a college advancing critical research in human wellness and a university on the rise. Read more about faculty honors and fellowships.

NASSS exists to promote, stimulate and encourage the sociological study of play, games, sport and contemporary physical culture. Learn more at

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