The CSM Team
Meet our Staff and Doctoral Students


Maria Dahl

Personal Assistant

+49 (0)211 44709 741

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Maria Dahl works as Personal Assistant at the Center for Sports and Management since 2017. She takes care of the everyday business process at the center and supports the team in research, teaching and events. After her apprenticeship as management assistant in wholesale and foreign trade, she worked as a team and management assistant at various companies and graduted avocational with a Bachelor in Business Administration at FOM. Recently, Maria worked at Handelsblatt. In her leisure time, you can find her with her son at the playground or suprising her friends with culinary delicacies. She also likes to swing her racket at the tennis court.

Kerstin Forword

Project Manager

+49 (0)211 44709 746

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Kerstin Carolin Forword joined the Center of Sports Management in June 2016 as Project Manager. She has worked in People Services roles with McKinsey & Company and Booz&Co., both in Germany and England for more than ten years. Being a mother of two, she often spends her spare time on playgrounds or practicing Yoga and playing Tennis. Kerstin loves wake- and snowboarding and also tries to find some spare time to run and read.

Research Assistants/Doctoral Students

Daniel Beiderbeck, MSc

Research Assistant

+49 (0)211 44709 756

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In his doctoral studies, Daniel investigates the future of eSports and serves as point of contact for the SPOAC. Prior to joining CSM, Daniel studied industrial engineering at RWTH Aachen, Harvard University, and the University of Cambridge. Afterwards, he joined McKinsey & Company for 2 years, where he supported clients from various industries during their digital transformation. Daniel recently ended his active career as amateur footballer, but still loves to play and watch ball games in his leisure time. Additionally, he occasionally tries to compete with the new generation as amateur eGamer. 

Nicolas Frevel, MSc

Research Assistant

+49 211 44709 755

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Nicolas devotes his research endeavours to nothing less than the future of sports. Prior to his doctoral studies, he worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company where he experienced various industries and functions across many countries. He studied management at the University of Mannheim, Trinity College Dublin and Queen's University, Ontario, Canada. Nicolas belongs to the dying species of "Bolzplatzkicker" and street footballers and loves to spend his time doing or watching sports with friends. Living in Berlin and Düsseldorf, he sadly cannot attend most games of his beloved SC Freiburg in the stadium, but he draws solace from outstanding stadium atmospheres at Eisen Union or the Eisbären Berlin.

Harry Krüger, MSc

Research Assistant

+49 (0)211 44709 747

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Prior to his doctoral studies, Harry completed his Bachelor studies in Computing in Science at the University of Hamburg and at the University Paris-Sud in France. After his Master studies in Physics at the University of Hamburg, he worked as a consultant with Digital McKinsey focusing on topics around digitization across different industries. In his spare time Harry enjoys playing and watching soccer and is suffering with his favorite team FC Energie Cottbus. Next to football he also likes playing beach volleyball and do other sports.

External Doctoral Students

Sebastian Koppers, MSc

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Sebastian is doctoral student at the CSM and an affiliated researcher at the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH). In his research, Sebastian focuses on theories from labor, personnel and behavioral economics to examine the performance effects of different feedback design choices. Prior to joining CSM, Sebastian studied management at the WFI – Ingolstadt School of Management and at the Williams College of Business at Xavier University in Cincinnati. Furthermore, he worked as a management and strategy consultant, mostly on digital transformation projects. Sebastian is inspired by the unifying spirit of sports which he experienced on football fields all the way up to Cameroon. In his free time, Sebastian can be found running or on his racing bike, when he is not enjoying football, basketball or American football games on multiple screens.

Peggy Bellmann

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Peggy Bellmann joined the Center for Sports & Management in 2014 as a PhD student. In her thesis she is exploring the influence of sports sponsorship on employee's attitudes and behaviors i.e. how to use sports sponsorship to motivate and retain employees. Although she sometimes has troubles motivating herself to go out for a run, she is a passionate and committed horse rider in the fields of show jumping and eventing. Before her PhD, Peggy studied strategic communication and planning at the Berlin University of Arts and at the University of Sydney. She has also been working for two years as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company.

Florian Bünning, MA

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Florian Bünning

Florian Bünning is part of the Center for Sports and Management team around Professor Sascha L. Schmidt right from the start in 2014. In his dissertation Florian explores the effects of status incentives on the personal performance and career developments within competitive environments to contribute to the scientific discourse on the increasing importance of non-monetary incentives in organization and management research. Before Florian came to the WHU he graduated in media and communication research (BA) from the University of Passau. Afterwards he went from the south-east of Germany to Cologne in the west where he achieved the master’s degree in sports, media and communication research from the German Sports University. In his leisure time you’ll find Florian on basketball and tennis courts in Düsseldorf all over Germany. While he deals theoretically with high-status individuals he never belongs to this exclusive circle in his long real life sports practice…not yet!

Florian Holzmayer, MSc

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For his doctoral studies, Florian examines corporate strategies of football clubs, particularly their corporate diversification strategies into new business models or geographic markets. Prior to his doctoral studies Florian completed his Bachelor studies in Business Administration at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management and BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo as well as his Master studies in International Management at ESADE in Barcelona and the London School of Economics and Political Science. Afterwards he worked for Simon-Kucher and Partners for two years in Munich. In his spare time Florian likes to sail, ski, run and play golf or tennis. As his hometown is Cologne, he is an enthusiastic fan of 1. FC Köln which development he has been following for years and of which he would not miss one match – however, also the Carnival during the fifth season should never be left out…

Felix Krause, BSc

+49 (0)211 44709 751

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As part of his doctoral thesis Felix deals with the factors involved in the process of optimal performance under pressure. After his double bachelor-degree with a German BSc in International Management at the ESB Business School Reutlingen and an American BSc in International Business from Northeastern University in Boston (USA), Felix started as a consultant with McKinsey & Company in their Munich office. In his spare time Felix follows his passion for soccer, be it on the pitch or watching his favorite team VfL Wolfsburg in the stadium or on TV. He would never miss a game! Other than that, he likes to enjoy the mountains and lakes in the Munich area with friends. In addition, he also loves traveling and sailing.

Caroline Pfäffgen, MSc

+49 (0)211 44709  745

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In her doctoral thesis, Caroline investigates motives and behaviors of sports fans in the digital age. Before starting her doctoral thesis, Caroline studied General Management at the WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management, the Queen's University in Kingston and the Monash University in Melbourne. She also worked in consultancy for three years. After spending many years in competitive sports as a middle-distance runner, nowadays she can be found at longer running events, on tennis courts or in the mountains. Caroline is never getting tired to push the center team to sporting peak performances.