Athletic Business launched its debut editorial issue in 1977 (as well as a Buyers Guide issue in 1976). A lot has changed during that time. Take a look and help us celebrate, and come back throughout the year to check out more additions!

Our Evolving Industry

Adobe Spark Page

 A Changing Media Company

When Athletic Business first launched, we lived in a world without internet and email, and computers were a luxury for businesses. Take a look at how the evolution of technology shaped AB--and some of the key people who have played an integral part in our success.

The AB Show is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year! |

Covering it Quick: AB Covers Through the Years

All in the Family: An Interview with CEO Gretchen Kelsey Brown

AB Anniversary: An interview with Gretchen Brown from Athletic Business on Vimeo.

Revisit Our First Year


April/May 1977 

August 1977  October 1977  December 1977 

Visit our digital archive to check out issues from the past decade.

Be a Part of the Story

We're not the only ones with a story to tell! Have a story to tell, a memory to share? A favorite AB article, maybe? Whether you’ve been in the industry for 40 years or 40 days, we want to hear it! Throughout the year, we’ll be featuring stories from our audience, online and in print. Share you story here. 

"No one thought we could pull it off. Of course, no one had tried. Ahead of the 2015 NCAA Men's Final Four, we designed, produced and installed the world's largest tournament bracket covering 44,000 sq/ft on the side of Indianapolis' JW Marriott. The 12-day installation wasn't the end of the story. Within 24 hours of Selection Sunday, all 64 teams were added. Updates continued as quickly as the tournament play did and culminated with the winning team's logo being added within just minutes of their victory, before fans could make their way out of the stadium just blocks away. Not only did this wow fans and Indy residents, it earned the NCAA a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records." —Angela Hill, president, Section 127, Creative Division of Sport Graphics 
“I was officiating broomball when a student slipped and their stick hit another person in the face. That student had some bleeding, so I called the game to walk the student to our athletic training room. On the way, the student said they were missing their contact lens and thought maybe it might still be in the eye, just not on the pupil. “When we got to the training room, the trainers looked in the eye and the contact wasn’t there, and the student begged me to see if I could find it. I trudged through the two feet of snow back to the pond and thought to myself that this was like finding a needle in a haystack; we didn’t know if the contact was on the ice or lost in the snow. I walked out on the pond and searched for blood spots, as the contact surely would be in close proximity, but I couldn’t even find the blood spots. Just then, the sun broke through and a ray of sunshine caused a sparkle on the ice. I went over to check it out and lo and behold, there was the contact! I held it in the palm of my hand all the way back to the fieldhouse in utter awe — it wasn’t even scratched!” — Vicky Yaeger, coordinator of recreational services, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
“In 1988, I was a second-year varsity head boys’ basketball coach in a high school north of Atlanta. One afternoon, I was approached by a special education teacher who asked if I would consider allowing one of her students to be my team manager. “Eugene was a 14-year-old freshman who loved sports, especially basketball. He was born to a drug-addicted mother, and his father was not in the picture. Eugene, his two brothers and other family members lived with his grandparents in a small apartment near the school. He had very few social skills, so we made it a point to teach him things he would need to be a productive citizen. We taught Eugene how to order from a menu. We taught him proper phone etiquette. We showed him the importance of looking people in the eye while speaking with them. “Almost 29 years later, this 42-year-old man is still a major part of our lives. Our birthdays are a day apart, so we celebrate together. We also celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas together each year. He has become a ‘big brother’ to my two children and always offers his advice and life lessons to them.” Mike Emery, athletic director, Paideia School, Atlanta, Ga.
Designing a long-missing entry and a new commemorative plaza for the renowned Yale Bowl was a great honor, but it wasn’t without fun. The Bowl was completed in 1914, but it never got its grand arched entry. In honor of its 100th anniversary, Yale went about restoring it, but it still missed its diadem until several families of former Yale gridsmen rose to support its completion. A family of four Yale men who had all played, endowed the new Kenney Family Field Center, which features two stories of team rooms with an alumni skybox above that opens to the top of the Bowl. In front is the new Jensen Plaza, also endowed by four football brothers, features engraved granite pavers that list every Yale football letterman since inception. New wrought iron ‘Y’ gates welcome fans onto the plaza. All those brothers were an amazing amusement, but fun really started with the ‘real-life’ Handsome Dan. As we were finishing our design in 2011, by happenstance, we learned that: 1. The original Handsome Dan – America’s first collegiate mascot animal – had been owned by a British Yale student who, after Dan died, had him taxidermied and returned to Yale around 1890. 2. The original, stuffed, Dan resides in a glass box in Yale’s Payne-Whitney Gym. 3. The Yale School of Architecture had just acquired new physical scanning equipment to digitize 3-D objects along with 3-D printers that could print out digital objects. 4. Michael Anderson, the Peabody Museum’s preparator, who has sculpted life-size dinosaurs, knew dog anatomy well. We had to adorn the place with Handsome Dan! Our discoveries led us to scanning, printing, detailing, and bronze-casting Dan larger than life (1.66 times real life, to be exact). And now, sitting proudly on a granite block in front of the Bowl to inspire all who visit, is THE REAL HANDSOME DAN. — Mark Simon, FAIA, partner,  Centerbrook Architects & Planners
“My history with Athletic Business magazine and the conference reaches back to the first years in Chicago at the Marriott. I was introduced to the magazine in ’82 by a faculty colleague who excitedly said, ‘Look at this, Diane, have you seen it? It’s FREE and it’s REALLY good, but don’t be put off by the title, it has EVERYTHING!’ Well, I did look at the magazine and it was great, so great in fact that my colleague and I decided to write an article and submit it. (Yes, it was published.)  “From that point forward my participation in all things ABC snowballed. The conference and trade show in Chicago seemed huge compared to anything else I had experienced professionally at that time. Sessions were amazing — and still are — and the high level of professionalism exhibited by everyone was refreshing. I recall thinking and feeling like I had found my people and my professional tribe.” — Diane Dahlmann, executive director, University of Missouri Recreation

Moving Forward, Looking Back

Throughout 2017, we'll be featuring a different article each week from our archives, recalling some of the most-read articles and most-impactful coverage of the industries we serve. Check out our e-newsletter on Throwback Thursdays to get the latest! 

From the April Issue: Synthetic Turf Through the Years