DAPHNE, Ala. – Experienced professor of sports marketing and law Dr. Kimberly Willis recently taught a sports media relations course for the United States Sports Academy as part of its international sports education program to enhance the training of football (soccer) administrators in the United Arab Emirates.
A resident of the Raleigh-Durham, N.C. area, Willis taught a two-week, B-level course on sports media relations to students at the United Arab Emirates Football Association (UAEFA).
The Academy has played a role in the development of the Football Club Operators License Program in cooperation with the UAEFA. The agreement between the Academy, its Emirati colleagues and the UAEFA led to the development of the football club administrators’ education program for the Football Association Academy (FAA). The FAA effort includes football certification programs that offer professional preparation and training designed to meet the needs of coaches, athletes, administrators and operatives in the UAE football club system.
“The students responded well to the course,” Willis said. “They participated in mock press conferences, where they handled crisis management situations. They also worked together to produce a new mock football club, which they were able to use to discuss the sport organizational mix, vision and mission statements, and more.
“I enjoy teaching abroad for the Academy because I am able to both teach the students and learn from the students at the same time,” Willis said.
“I bring unique teaching methods to the students and allow them to discuss the topics, while asking them to provide examples from their respective clubs and organizations. I strongly encourage student feedback and participation, which makes the course exciting for the students and myself.”
Willis has served internationally for the Academy before, having earlier taught a C-level sports marketing course to students at the UAEFA.
Willis has taught issues in sports administration, gender issues in sport, sports law and governance, and sports marketing at Florida State University (FSU) and intercollegiate athletics leadership at the University of Washington at Seattle. She has also worked as an adjunct professor for Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C.
She is also the president, founder and chief executive officer of the non-profit Pettaway & Willis Foundation, Inc., which focuses on cancer awareness, community service, education and empowerment of women.
Willis earned her bachelor’s degree in sports exercise science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her master’s and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in sport administration and sport management from FSU.
“My experience in the sport academia field has prepared me to teach students abroad,” Willis said.