Business student combines love of sports with business analytics to form club

November 1, 2018

Aaron Goldstein is an avid sports fan – to say the least. As a child he amazed family and friends by reciting stats of his favorite NFL teams and players. Now as a junior majoring in finance and accounting, he has combined his love of sports with the dynamic field of business analytics by forming the Sports Analytics Club at FSU.

The world of sports analytics – the collection of relevant and historical statistics – has come a long way since the 2002 baseball season depicted in the film “Moneyball,” in which the Oakland Athletics used analytics to build its team on a tight budget. Now cutting-edge technology can capture real-time video data of player performance and track every movement of the ball, aiding players and coaches in their decision-making and driving home the value of accumulating and analyzing data for possible benefit.

SportsAnalyticsAaron Goldstein (left) and faculty adviser Lance Kerwin.

The idea for the club came to Goldstein last spring while he was taking Senior Lecturer Lance Kerwin’s Introduction to Business Analytics (ISM 3541) course, which covers the principles of data analytic thinking and provides a foundation for data-driven decision-making in various business and organizational settings.

Goldstein said he enjoyed the hands-on activities in the course, which included attending soccer and tennis matches with the goal of building useful data sets. He saw an opportunity to grow this concept and build a club.

“As a sports fan, I knew about the data analytics wave in the business and sports worlds and thought a club focused on letting students tie what they’re learning in business and analytics classes with sports would be a great way to bring together like-minded students regardless of their majors,” Goldstein said. “It also is a way to enhance fans’ enjoyment of sports and support FSU athletes.”

Goldstein worked with Kerwin, who agreed to serve as the club’s faculty adviser, and the club held its first meeting in September, drawing nearly 70 members. He has built a team of students from across campus and disciplines, from computer science and accounting to advertising and marketing.

“Sports is a great platform for teaching the concepts and principles of business analytics,” said Kerwin, an avid sports fan himself. “Aaron and his team have an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy, and I’m enjoy watching them plant the seeds. It will be neat to see where the founding cohort lands in the next 20 years. They will use this experience to build a valuable network and to, hopefully, be active alumni as Aaron’s vision is passed on to the next group in a couple years. I’m a fan.”

For more information about the Sports Analytics Club of FSU, contact Aaron Goldstein at The next meeting will be held from 6-7 p.m., Nov. 15 in the William Johnston Building, Room 2005.

- Barbara Ash