Michael Gaio
Michael Gaio joined Athletic Business in 2012, originally serving as social media manager before becoming eMedia editor. Prior to AB, Michael worked in the athletic department at Baylor University where he documented every move of Robert Griffin III, Brittney Griner and the rest of the Bears for the university's website. Michael, a native of Plymouth, Minnesota, is the lone Vikings fan in the AB office and a proud graduate of the University of Missouri's School of Journalism. When he's not sending tweets on AB's behalf, he enjoys playing basketball, traveling and talking about Mizzou athletics with anyone who will listen.
  • Tuesday, December, 23, 2014
    Athletic Business' 10 Highlights from 2014

    Excuse me while I catch my breath. It’s been a busy year around here. And I’m sure you can relate. If you’re in this industry — whether it’s athletics, fitness or recreation — “busy” is a way of life. Hopefully you’ll get a chance for some well-deserved R&R this holiday season.

    Speaking of the holiday season, with the year winding down, we thought this would be a good time to reflect on some our highlights from 2014. And we thank you, our dutiful readers, for making it all possible.

    Here are 10 highlights from the year that was, presented in chronological order.

    10.  AB Launches Redesigned Website
    Just in time for 2014, we launched the revamped athleticbusiness.com. It looks better and you can read it on your smartphone without getting frustrated. Hooray! Stay tuned for continued improvements in 2015.

    9. AB Goes All-Access at Cybex’s Manufacturing Facility
    February temperatures falling to -20 didn’t stop AB’s team from getting fired up over our visit to Cybex’s facility in Owatonna, Minn. The sophistication and consistency in their manufacturing process was a sight to behold and luckily for you, we made this video so you can tour the facility for yourself.

    8. Facility Madness Crowns a Champion
    Our NCAA Tournament-inspired contest to find our readers’ favorite college basketball arena went viral.  More than 50,000 votes later, Nebraska’s sparkling new home, Pinnacle Bank Arena, was named the winner.

    7. You Picked Our Cover

    For the first time in Athletic Business’ 37-year existence, we allowed our readers to select the cover of our magazine. The result was University of Richmond's newly remodeled Robins Center gracing our June cover. Nice choice.

    6. Medical Fitness to the Masses
    By May the ABtv crew had thawed out from the Owatonna trip and was back on the road. This time we had the fortune of taking our viewers inside The Atlantic Club in Mansquan, New Jersey, which is home to one of the nation’s premier medical fitness programs. Definitely worth a watch if you’re considering adding a medical fitness aspect at your facility.

    5. Facility of Merit Judging… and Cheese Curds
    For the second straight year, AB hosted our seven esteemed architectural judges to our headquarters here in Madison, Wis. When the judges weren’t cooped up in the war room debating which facilities would be deemed 2014 Facilities of Merit, our staff enjoyed showing off downtown Madison’s local food and beer scene. If you’ve ever been here, you know what we’re talking about.

    4. Athletic Business Conference & Expo: Keeping You Ahead of the Game
    Before we knew it, it was already time for the 33rd annual Athletic Business Conference & Expo. This year we returned to Orlando where attendees from 49 states and 20 countries wandered the expansive trade show floor, were taught to think outside their industry by Fast Company’s Bill Taylor, and enjoyed lively networking events at Pointe Orlando. The ABC staff is already hard at work on next year’s event. We hope you’ll join us in New Orleans.

    3. AB, NSC4 Partner to Launch Gameday Security
    Professionals tasked with protecting athletic venues of all levels and/or open-access events now have a resource to call their own. Noticing a void in the increasingly important safety and security field, editor in chief Dennis Van Milligen spearheaded an effort to create a professional resource devoted strictly to that subject. The result was a partnership with the renowned National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) and the launch of Gameday Security. Gameday Security has its own section of athleticbusiness.com, a twice-monthly newsletter (sign up here) and a quarterly magazine.

    2. You Chose America’s Favorite College Stadium

    Similar to Facility Madness, we once again turned to our readers to help us choose the best facility in college athletics — only this time in football. The week-long tournament (which ended Monday) was by far the most popular online feature in AB’s history, racking up more than 300,000 pageviews by the time it was all said and done. In case you missed it, Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium was named the winner and the school (and starting quarterback Josh Dobbs) was excited about it.

    1. One Million People Visited Our Website
    Well, technically 1.1 million (so far) but who’s counting? For the first time in our history we crossed the 7-digit mark, a feat we’re pretty proud of.

    We thank you, our readers, for making it possible and continuing to turn to us as your professional resource. Whether it’s providing feature stories in our magazine, breaking news on our website or talking with you in person at the Athletic Business Conference & Expo, it’s a job we love to do.  Have a happy and safe holiday season. We can’t wait to see what 2015 will bring.

  • Monday, December, 22, 2014
    Video: West Side of Texas A&M's Kyle Field Imploded

    As part of an ongoing renovation to Texas A&M's Kyle Field, the entire west side of the stadium was imploded on Saturday. A small crowd gathered to watch the implosion and cheered as the structure fell.

  • Monday, December, 15, 2014
    Video: High School Coach Throws Player Down by Her Hair

    It's an ugly situation that only looks worse once you see the video.

  • Thursday, December, 11, 2014
    Vikings Might Make New Stadium Bird-Safe After All

    With 200,000 square feet of glass, 95-foot glass doors and a location near the Mississippi River, the Minnesota Vikings' new stadium has been called a "death trap" for birds. Now bird lovers have new life in their attempt to have the stadium glass changed to be more bird friendly.

  • Thursday, December, 11, 2014
    Golden State's Toilet Bowl Arena Design Gets a Redo

    The Golden State Warriors have flushed previous designs for their new arena in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood. Critics — or really anyone with eyes — claimed the design sketches released earlier this year made the arena look like a toilet.

  • Wednesday, December, 10, 2014
    Michigan Takes Step to Ban College Athlete Unions

    In April, football players at Northwestern cast a historic vote to determine if they would unionize. Student-athletes in Michigan may never get that chance.

  • Tuesday, December, 09, 2014
    Big Ten Approves Enhanced Concussion Protocols

    Editor's note: The following is a press release issued by the Big Ten Conference.

    ROSEMONT, Ill. - The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) held its annual December meeting in Indianapolis on Sunday, December 7, and took another step toward improving student-athlete welfare when it approved a conference recommendation to establish enhanced concussion protocols.

  • Friday, December, 05, 2014
    Columbia Coach Accused of Playing Concussed Athletes

    Editor's note: This story has been edited to reflect an update from Columbia University.

    Columbia football coach Pete Mangurian, who has since resigned his position, tallied a 3-27 record in three seasons at the school, but that's not the worst of it according to his players.

  • Thursday, December, 04, 2014
    More Bad News: UAB's Bowl Hopes Now 'Nonexistent'

    If it's true that "when it rains, it pours," consider UAB's football program drenched in a torrential monsoon.

  • Wednesday, December, 03, 2014
    UAB Kills Football Program, Fallout Immediate

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham officially killed its football program on Tuesday. The ensuing scene on the school's campus was one of chaos and heartbreak — students protesting, the band playing, tears flowing and a school president being berated by devastated players and booed by fans. Death is never easy to accept.

  • Friday, May, 30, 2014
    Blog: Six Facilities That Left Me Floored

    When I was invited by Regupol America to tour several athletic and fitness facilities earlier this month, I had no idea what I was in for. Working for AB, we know how important the right kind of flooring is — it impacts everything from acoustics and aesthetics to cost and usability — but it takes getting out of the office and seeing the details up close to really understand how flooring can make an impact.

  • Monday, March, 17, 2014
    News and Notes From the IHRSA 2014 Trade Show Floor

    There’s nothing like attending a good trade show, especially in the fitness industry. The equipment, the innovation, the music, the energy, the people… Whether it’s our show or IHRSA, I consider attending these shows to be one of the perks of my job.

  • Monday, February, 10, 2014
    Blog: Don't Let Sexual Orientation Define Sam

    "I'm not afraid to tell the world who I am. I'm Michael Sam: I'm a college graduate. I'm African American, and I'm gay," he said. "I'm comfortable in my skin."

  • Friday, December, 13, 2013
    RG3's Best Qualities Transcend Football

    A man best known for his athletic accomplishments does his best work off the field.

  • Tuesday, October, 29, 2013
    Blog: 9 Social Media Dos and Don'ts for Student-Athletes

    A professor of mine in journalism school at Missouri once said (actually, he tweeted): "Social media is like a gun. Smart people will use it as a useful tool, not-so-smart people will shoot themselves in the foot with it."

  • Thursday, October, 10, 2013
    Blog: The Wussification Has to Stop

    First there were youth sports leagues that stopped keeping score for fear of someone having hurt feelings. Then there's the football league in California that does keep score, but penalizes the teams that win by too much. Now, it appears we've reached a level of softness even Charmin can't match.