About the Project

The mission of the Know Rivalry Project is to facilitate sustainable collaboration in the research production, discernment, and dissemination of knowledge about rivalry.

How do we achieve our mission?

Our process is rooted in the scientific method and emphasizes faculty-student-professional collaboration to survey, interview, and otherwise measure sport fan and consumer feelings and behaviors.

Students and faculty have been supported by the University Research Council, Informatics+, and the Connect Ahead mentorship program in the Haile College of Business at Northern Kentucky University (NKU), as well as the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass).

What is the Know Rivalry (KR) Lab?

The KR Lab is a virtual platform co-hosted by the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at UMass and the Haile College of Business at NKU. The KR Lab is the collaborative worksite of the project’s stakeholders, including students, faculty, and professionals from UMass, NKU, and other academic and industry institutions.

What are the core values of the project?

Knowledge, Collaboration, Scientific method, Sustainability

Why study rivalry?

Intergroup relations have profound psychological, cultural and commerce effects on society. To realize the potential of these effects for the common good, we must better understand the various antecedents and consequences of rivalries.

Also, developing and learning research methods for knowledge creation and empirical testing impacts decision-making and societal progress. This benefits everyone involved, including our students as they prepare for their careers.

Finally, it’s fun! We get to learn about fans, history, and sports. Further, the work creates a public engagement forum for our universities, thereby supporting their broad educational mission.

About the Project Founders

B. David Tyler, PhD

David is an associate professor in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He researches how fans consume sport, particularly around rivalry and fan communities. David earned his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame (Government & Spanish); his MBA, MS in Sport Management, and PhD in Management (sport management/marketing) all came from UMass. Before joining the faculty at UMass, David was Associate Professor in the College of Business at Western Carolina University.
Fun fact: While Joe was Director of Marketing at Miami University (years before meeting David), David applied for a job with Miami and Joe ignored his application; David hasn’t let it go.

Joe B. Cobbs, PhD

Joe is a Professor in the Haile College of Business at Northern Kentucky University. His specialties include team rivalry, international sponsorship, and the business of Formula One racing. Joe earned his undergraduate degree from Miami University (Marketing & Finance), his MS in Sport Management from The Ohio State University, and his PhD in Management (sport marketing and business strategy) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is often known around campus and at conferences as Dr. Green Shoes.
Fun fact: As Marketing Director at Miami University, Joe created the “Battle of the Bricks” brand to promote the MU vs. Ohio University rivalry.

KR Alumni

Part of the Know Rivalry Project mission is to involve students in the research and use the data and experience to help students learn. We have been fortunate to share KR with so many over the years, and we’re grateful for their interest in the project.

Below are students who have worked with the project in some capacity, grouped by the most recent year in which they were involved.


Grad: Daniel Lubelfeld (Data Architect/ Analyst), Kelsey Sloan (Lab Operations Director)
Undergrad: Melissa Causer, Jude Kinsella, Jonah Krebs (Director of Special Projects), Conor McKeever, Jim Ryan, Stephen Verst


Undergrad: Grant Baker, Zach Beal, Rachel Disibio, My Doan, Eric Jackman, Tate Judge, Ashmita KC, Brandon Leicht, Thang Nguyen, Lilly Ronan, Carly Sklar