Ryan K. Zapalac

Ryan K. Zapalac

Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology



HKC 213

Curriculum Vitae


I have been at Sam Houston State University since 2006. I teach courses related to sport management, sport administration, and sport psychology.

My primary areas of research are in sport fan behaviors, sport consumer behaviors, sport marketing, psychological burnout, and Reversal Theory applications. As one of the primary faculty members in the graduate Sport Management program, I also serve as the Sport Management Internship Coordinator. Our focus is to provide our students with the education, experience, and networking to be successful executives in the sport industry.

Our students have interned at a wide variety of sport organizations including BBVA Compass Stadium, FC Dallas, the Frisco Rough riders, the Houston Aeros, the Houston Astros, the Houston Dynamo, the Houston Rockets, the Houston Texans, Lone Star Sports and Entertainment, SMG at NRG Park, the SHSU Athletic Department, the SHSU Recreational Sports Department, the Texas A&M-Commerce Athletic Department, the University of Texas-El Paso Athletic Department, and the Greater Houston YMCA.


    • Ph.D. in Kinesiology, University of Houston, 2004
    • M.Ed. in Physical Education – Sport and Fitness Administration, University of Houston, 2001
    • B.S. in Kinesiology, University of Houston, 1998

Selected Publications

  • Wann, D. L., Zapalac, R. K., Grieve, F. G., Partridge, J. A., & Lanter, J. R. (2015). An examination of sport fans’ perceptions of the impact of the legalization of sport wagering on their fan experience. UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal, 19(2), 21-40.
  • Cottingham, M., Blais, D., Gearity, B., Bogle, K., & Zapalac, R. (2015). A qualitative examination of Latin American wheelchair sport practitioners’ marketing practices. Journal of Sport for Development, 3(5), 8-19.
  • Norris, J. I., Wann, D. L., & Zapalac, R. K. (2015). Is maximizing tendency a buffer against fair-weather fandom? Journal of Consumer Research, 32(3), 157-166.
  • Wann, D. L., Grieve, F. G., Zapalac, R. K., Partridge, J. A., & Parker, P. M. (2013). An examination of predictors of watching televised sport programming. North American Journal of Psychology, 15(1), 179-194.
  • Wann, D. L., Grieve, F. G., End, C., Zapalac, R. K., Lanter, J. R., Pease, D. G., Fellows, B., Oliver, K., & Wallace, A. (2013). Examining the superstitions of sport fans: Types of superstitions, perceptions of impact, and relationship with team identification. Athletic Insight, 5(1), 21-44.
  • Smith, S. E., Grieve, F. G., Zapalac, R. K., Derryberry, W. P., Pope-Tarrence, J. (2012). How does sport team identification compare to identification with other social institutions? Journal of Contemporary Athletics, 6(2), 69-82.
  • Wann, D. L., Grieve, F. G., Zapalac, R. K., Visek, A. J., Partridge, J. A., & Lanter, J. R. (2012). The importance of team identification in perceptions of trust in fellow and rival sport fans. In A. C. Earnheardt, P. M. Haridakis, & B. Hugenberg (Eds.), Sports fans, identity, and socialization: Exploring the fandemonium (pp. 68-78). Lanham, MD: Lexington.
  • Zhang, J. J., Lam, E. T. C., Cianfrone, B. A., Zapalac, R. K., Holland, S., & Williamson, D. P. (2011). An importance-performance analysis of media activities associated with WNBA game consumption. Sport Management Review, 14, 64-78.
  • Wann, D. L., Grieve, F. G., Zapalac, R. K., Lanter, J. R., Partridge, J. A., Short, S. E., Parker, P. M., & Short, M. (2010). What would you do for a championship: Willingness to consider acts of desperation among Major League Baseball fans (pp. 161-173). In B. D. Geranto (Ed.), Sport psychology, Hauppage, NY: Nova Science Publishers.
  • Zapalac, R. K., Zhang, J. J., & Pease, D. G. (2010). Understanding volleyball spectators from the perspectives of sociodemographics, decision-making, and consumption. International Journal of Sport Marketing and Sponsorship, 11(4), 320-343.
  • Zapalac, R.K., Lee, J.T., & Pease, D.G. (2009). Burnout in high school basketball coaches from a Reversal Theory perspective. Journal of Contemporary Athletics, 4(2), 139-153.
  • Grieve, F.G., Zapalac, R.K., Visek, A., Wann, D.L., Parker, P., Partridge, J., & Lanter, J. (2009). Identification with multiple sport teams: How many sports do fans follow? Journal of Contemporary Athletics, 3(4), 283-294.
  • Grieve, F.G., Shoenfelt, B.L., Wann, D.L., & Zapalac, R.K. (2009). The puck stops here: An evaluation of National Hockey League Fans’ reactions to the 2004-2005 lockout. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 5(1-2), 101-114.
  • Grieve, F.G., Wann, D.L., & Zapalac, R.K. (2008). Sport fans’ responses to the end of season. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 4(4), 375-389.
  • Wann, D.L., Grieve, F.G., Zapalac, R.K., & Pease, D.G. (2008). Motivational profiles of sport fans of different sports. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 17(1), 6-19.
  • Whisenant, W., Vincent, J., Pedersen, P., & Zapalac, R.K. (2007). Examining diversity in high school hiring practices: An analysis of homologous reproduction in interscholastic athletics. Advancing Women in Leadership Online Journal, 25(2). Retrievable from: http://www.advancingwomen.com/awl/summer2007/index.htm

Professional Experience

  • Acting Chair, Dept. of Kinesiology, September 2014 – August 2015
  • Assistant Chair, Dept. of Health and Kinesiology, August 2011 – August 2014
  • Sport Management Internship Coordinator, August 2008 - present
  • Editorial Board, Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD) Journal, October 2014 – present
  • Editorial Board Member, Global Sports Business Journal, December 2013 – present
  • Associate Editor, International Journal of Multidisciplinary Graduate Research (formerly Graduate Research Journal), October 2011 – November 2013.
  • Marketing/Consumer Behavior Section Head for the Annual Conference of the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM), 2011 – 2012.
  • Reviewer for the Annual Conference of the Sport Marketing Association (SMA), 2011-2014.

Professional Memberships

  • North American Society of Sport Management (NASSM)
  • Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHARE)
  • Sport Marketing Association (SMA)
  • Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD)