On Friday, April 12th, the Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA) will present a book talk by Professor Branden Buehler about his new book ‘Front Office Fantasies: The Rise of Managerial Sports Media.’ The event will take place at 5:00pm in the Film Forum at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.
Front Office Fantasies delves into how sports media moved the action from the field to the executive suite. Moving from Moneyball and Football Manager to coverage of analytics gurus like Daryl Morey, Buehler shows how a fixation on managerial moves has taken a hold of the entire sports media landscape. Specific media forms illustrate different facets of the managerial craze while analyzing the related effects on what fans see, hear, and play; throughout the book, Buehler argues that sports media’s managerial lionization serves as one of the clearest reflections of major material and ideological changes taking place across culture and society.
Front office executives have become high-profile commentators, movie and video game protagonists, and role models for a generation raised in the data-driven, financialized world of contemporary sports. Branden Buehler examines the media transformation of these once obscure management figures into esteemed experts and sporting idols.
Branden Buehler is an assistant professor of media studies in the Department of Communication, Media, and the Arts at Seton Hall University. He is the author of Front Office Fantasies: The Rise of Managerial Sports Media (University of Illinois Press, 2023). His research has also been published in Sport and Society, Television & New Media, and The Velvet Light Trap, among other academic journals and collections. He holds a Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Southern California.
Amy Mojica ’26 is a communications assistant in the department of Performing and Media Arts.