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Olga Polyakova

Olga Polyakova PhD, MSc, BA

Course Leader for MSc Sport Business Management, Senior Lecturer in Sport Business Management


Olga's expertise in Sport Marketing combines with experience in the sport and fitness industry. Prior to joining Sheffield Hallam University Olga lectured Sport Marketing at the University of Huddersfield. She also a fully qualified yoga instructor and have a proven track record in teaching in the fitness industry.

In her doctoral research Olga investigated issues of service quality and customer satisfaction in the sport and fitness industry in England. Her other research interests are in the areas of motivation and psychology of sport participation. Olga also collaborates in providing consultancy and organising seminars in the area of sport as an innovative teaching tool.

  • About

    Olga is a qualified yoga teacher with ten years of experience in integrating mindfulness practices in a wide variety of settings, including projects with ethnic minorities, ex-offenders, general public, higher educational institutions and MMA athletes. She teaches on Sport Business Management undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at Sheffield Hallam and works closely with Sport Industry Research Centre and the Centre for Health and Social Care Research. 

    In partnership with Sheffield IAPT, Olga is currently leading on the research project that looks to investigate the added benefit of yoga over and above usual care for the patients with anxiety and depression. Olga's broader research interests lie in the area of motivation and psychology of sport participation which links to the topic of her PhD thesis on perceptions of service quality in the UK fitness industry.

    Specialist areas of interest

    Service quality in fitness industry, customer satisfaction, motivation and psychology of sport participation.

  • Teaching

    Subject area

    Sports Marketing
    Research methods
    Interdisciplinary research projects


    BSc Sport Business Management
    MSc Sport Business Management


    Applied Marketing and Finance
    Marketing and the Media (Hong Kong)
    Researching Sport Management
    Project (UG/PG)

  • Research

    Collaborators and sponsors

    Enterprise educators UK
    Sheffield IAPT, NHS Foundation Trust

  • Publications

    Journal articles

    Polyakova, O., & Mirza, M.T. (2016). Service quality models in the context of the fitness industry. Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, 6 (3), 360-382.

    Flint, S., Peake, R., Plumley, D.J., Polyakova, O., Reale, S., Wilson, R., ... Pheonix, F. (2015). The impact of athlete endorsement on estimates of nutritional content of food meals. Appetite, 87, 395.

    Polyakova, O., & Mirza, M. (2015). Perceived service quality models: are they still relevant? The Marketing Review, 15 (1), 59-82.

    Flint, S., Plumley, D.J., Peake, R., & Polyakova, O. (2014). Using sport as a tool to market unhealthy food. European Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 2 (12), 15-25.

  • Other activities

    External advisor - Buckinghamshire New University, School of Applied Management and Law (Department of Sports Management)
    External advisor - University of Central Lancaster, School of Sport, Tourism and The Outdoors
    Sport Management Association in Australia and New Zealand - member
    Register of Exercise Professionals (L3 Yoga Teacher)

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