Thilo Kunkel, Ph.D.

About me

Dr. Thilo Kunkel is a sport and entertainment business professor, entrepreneur, and consultant. He is a leading expert on building and monetizing brands in the sport industry and has extensive experience across Europe, Australia, and the USA.

Raised in Germany within a sport tourism family business, Dr. Kunkel developed an early passion for the sport and entertainment industry, appreciating the physical, mental, and social benefits sports offer. His quest for deeper knowledge in these areas led him to pursue a degree in Sport Science and Physical Education at Saarland University, Germany, where he also engaged in event organization and promotions for lifestyle brands such as RedBull and Baileys. Dr. Kunkel represented Saarland University in snowboarding, achieving 10th place in the 2005 European University championship in slopestyle.

Driven by an interest in the business aspects of sport and events, he furthered his education with a second degree in Marketing and Strategic Management, at the same university. His academic journey continued in the USA with a scholarship for a year abroad at the University of Missouri, where he studied business and represented the university in wakeboarding.

Following the completion of advanced degrees in Business and Economics Education, Business Administration, and Physical Education from Saarland University in Germany Dr. Kunkel moved to Australia to pursue a Ph.D. in Business with a concentration in Sport Marketing at Griffith University under the mentorship of Prof. Daniel Funk, a leading authority in sport consumer behavior. His doctoral research focused on the strategic development of sport brands and consumers’ perceptions of brand relationships. Leveraging his research expertise, he consulted sport teams on their brand development and sport associations on their strategic expansion plans.

Upon completing his Ph.D. in 2013, Dr. Kunkel joined the faculty at Temple University, USA, an R1 research institution renowned for its marketing and sport management programs. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles in high-quality, high impact mainstream business and sport management journals.