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Matt Bernthal, Ph.D.

Marketing Department Chair

Associate Professor of Marketing


I love teaching. I work to instill in students an enthusiasm for marketing, heightening their sense of curiosity and creating in them an intrinsic work ethic. Students learn best when they are engaged in the subject, and I foster this through group exercises and contests, debates, mini case studies, and the like. It is also paramount to sincerely care about students' success not only in the classroom, but in their future careers as well.

-Matt Bernthal

Becker Business - 331



A native of Florida, Dr. Matt Bernthal received his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Valparaiso University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. (1999) in Business Administration, both concentrated in marketing, from The University of South Carolina. Outside of academia, Dr. Bernthal has worked in retail management and marketing research, where he primarily focused on new business feasibility and customer satisfaction. He has taught courses in Marketing Principles, Consumer Behavior, and Marketing Research at the University of South Carolina College of Business. He also taught undergraduate and graduate courses for 18 years in the Department of Sport & Entertainment Management at the University of South Carolina, teaching courses such as Integrated Marketing Communications in Sport & Entertainment Management, Services Marketing in Sport & Entertainment, Ethics in Sport & Entertainment Business, and Principles of Sport & Entertainment Marketing, among others.

Dr. Bernthal’s research interests lie in the areas of consumer behavior and sport and entertainment marketing. He has published numerous research articles appearing in the Journal of Consumer Research, Sport Marketing Quarterly, Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing, School Psychology International, Journal of Sport Behavior, SMART Journal, Journal of Sponsorship, Marketing News, and other outlets. He has authored numerous book chapters, serves on the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, and has consulted with various firms, primarily in the sport and entertainment industries. At the University of South Carolina, he was named the 2002 Distinguished Researcher and Scholar of the Year in the College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management. He received the USC Mortar Board’s Excellence in Teaching Award in the 2007/2008 academic year, and the College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management's 2016 Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award.


  • Ph.D., University of South Carolina, Business Administration, Area of Specialization: Marketing, Cognate: Psychology and Human Behavior, 1999
  • M.S., University of South Carolina, Business Administration, Area of Specialization: Marketing, Cognate: Psychology, 1994
  • B.S., Valparaiso University, Major: Business Administration, Summa Cum Laude, 1989


  • 2016 University of South Carolina College of HRSM Harry E. and Carmen S. Varney Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award
  • USC Mortar Board Excellence in Teaching Award, 2007-2008
  • 2002 University of South Carolina College of HRSM Distinguished Researcher and Scholar of the Year Award
  • Two Thumbs Up Award – University of South Carolina Office of Student Disability Services, 2010-2011
  • 10 Year Service Award – State of South Carolina


Reifurth, K., Bernthal, M. J., Ballouli, K., & Collins, D. (2019). Nonlocal fandom: Effects of geographic proximity, geographic identity, and local competition on team identification. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 28(4), 195-209.

Reifurth, K., Bernthal, M. J., & Heere, B. (2018). Children’s game-day experiences and effects of community groups. Sport, Business, Management: An International Journal, 8(3), 257-275.
Ballouli, K., Trail, G. Koesters, T., & Bernthal, M. J. (2016). Differential effects of motives and points of attachment on conative loyalty of Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix attendees. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 25(3), 166-181.
Mercado, H., & Bernthal, M. J. (2016). Hispanic subcultural sport socialization: An initial investigation. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 25(2), 103-114.
Koesters, T., Ballouli, K., Bernthal, M. J., & Hansell, S. (2016). Bowling for dollars: Establishing perceived need and brand equity in a participatory sport. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 25(1), 62-71.
Bernthal, M. J., Koesters, T., Ballouli, K. & Brown, M. T. (2015). Motivations and fan engagement related to professional bass fishing spectatorship. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 24(1), 6-18.
Bernthal, M. J., Nagel, M., Harrill, R., & Riner, P. (2012). All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy: An exploration of business travelers’ attendance at live, ticketed entertainment events. Tourism Analysis, 17(2), 213-224.
Lee, J., Bernthal, M. J., Whisenant, W., & Mullane, S. (2010). NASCAR: Checkered flags are not all that are being waved. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 19(3), 170-179.
Grady, J., McKelvey, S., & Bernthal, M. J. (2010). From Beijing 2008 to London 2012: Examining event-specific Olympic legislation vis à vis the rights and interests of stakeholders.  Journal of Sponsorship, 3(2), 144-156.
Bernthal, M. J. (2009). Marketing professional wrestling to children: An ethical examination. Sport Management and Related Topics (SMART), 5(1), 19-29.
Bernthal, M. J., Rose, R. L., & Kaufman, P. (2006). When norms collide: Normative conflict in the processing of public service announcements. Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing, 6(1-2), 21-40.
Bernthal, M. J., Crockett, D., & Rose, R. L. (2005). Credit cards as lifestyle facilitators. Journal of Consumer Research, 32(June), 130-145.
Bernthal, M. J. and Medway, F. J. (2005). An initial exploration into the psychological implications of adolescents’ involvement with professional wrestling. School Psychology International, 26(2), 224-242.
Bernthal, M. J., & Sawyer, L. L. (2004). The importance of expectations on participatory sport event satisfaction: An exploration into the effect of athlete skill level on service expectations. The Sport Journal, 7(3).

Bernthal, M. J. & Regan, T. H. (2004). The economic impact of a NASCAR racetrack on a rural community and region. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 13(1), 26 – 34.
Bernthal, M J. & Graham, P. J. (2003). The effect of sport setting on fan attendance motivation: The case of minor league vs. collegiate baseball. Journal of Sport Behavior, 26(3), 223 – 239. NOTE: This article was also picked up and included in the American Marketing Association’s electronic newsletter dated 09/12/2003.
Bernthal, M. J. (2003). The effect of professional wrestling viewership on children. The Sport Journal, 6(3).
Bernthal, M. J. & Regan, T. H. (2001). NASCAR’s ‘Customer Gap’: Are fan expectations keeping up with perceptions. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 10(4), 193-201.
Chandler, C. R. & Bernthal, M. J. (2001). Ambush marketing: A new legal perspective. In L. L. Sawyer, J. A. Hughey, & J. B. Rosen (Eds.), Research Proceedings of the International Conference on Sport and Entertainment Business.