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Global Experiential Sport Lab

The Global Experiential Sport Lab (GXS Lab) is the connection between scholarly research and industry practice in sport and sport media. GXS focuses on the intersection and knowledge transfer between Globalization; Digitization; and Commercialization. 


A distinctive emphasis is placed on collaboration between scholars, students, faculty and industry initiatives, to remain on the cutting edge in the world of connectivity and in the ever-evolving sport and sport media industry, and to achieve global status and recognition as a leader in interdisciplinary research design and experience.

2020-2021 Research Team:

1.       Laurel Walzak, GXSLab Director and Founder, and is an Assistant Professor of the RTA School of Media Program, in the Faculty of Communication and Design, Ryerson University. Recipient of Ryerson University’s Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award 2020.

2.       Danica Vidotto, GXSLab Research Assistant and is a Ph.D. candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in collaboration with the iSchool- Knowledge, Media, Design Institute at the University of Toronto.

3.       Francesco Collura, GXSLab Research Assistant and is a Ph.D. student in the Communications and Culture joint program with York University and Ryerson University.

4.       Chelsea Vern,  GXSLab Research Assistant and is Master student in Digital Media Ryerson University.

5.       Shireen Ahmed, GXSLab Research Assistant and is a Master student in Media Production Ryerson University.

Global Experiential Sport Lab - Runner getting ready to race in starting position on track field

Sports Fans/Audiences

Gender Equity and Diversity

Emerging Fields (such as Esports)


Diversity in Sport Media Organizations 

Muslim women in sport, barriers to participation 

Curb ignorant and/or deviant hockey fan behavior and promoting an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ fans with an aim to mitigate negative influences regarding toxic masculinity in the hockey environment and ensure that every fan no matter their race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and those with disabilities feels safe and welcome

Launching Sport Media Vectors, Digitization, Expanding Audiences, and the Globalization of Live Sport Book, Publication Co-edited by L. Walzak and J. Recupero (Published doi link: (external link) )

The Impact of Habit Trackers, Healthy Lifestyles and Exercise Motives of University Students in Toronto, Accepted for Journal Publication for November 2020.


Walzak’s research design and experience exist within three pillars associated to sport: Sports Fans/Audiences; Gender Equity and Diversity, and Emerging Fields, such as Esports. These three pillars guide my strategic decisions on: grants and funding needs and submissions; research projects and publication contributions; conference attendance and other channels for dissemination of my research; curriculum development and delivery; partnerships; graduate student supervisory roles; creative activities and output; and my service both internal and external to the University.

Director of the Global Experiential Sport Lab

Laurel Walzak - Director of the GXSLab

Laurel Walzak

Laurel is a senior strategic and innovative professional with close to twenty years of experience serving the sports, health & fitness, and consumer goods industries.  Laurel’s experience included roles at Fitneff Inc., the National Hockey League, Molson Coors Canada and the National Football League.

In 2013, Laurel was appointed by the Government of Ontario Public Appointments Secretariat of the Ministry: Training, Colleges and Universities, to the Board of Governors of George Brown College.  In 2015, she was elected as the Vice Chair of the Board’s Academic & Student Affairs Committee. Laurel also serves on Fitneff Inc.’s, The Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) and the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre Board of Directors. Each of these Board roles include: fiduciary responsibilities as well as overall Corporate Governance accountabilities.

Laurel is a proud SheEO Activator.

Laurel is a graduate of Western University, has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Sport and Event Marketing from George Brown College, a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s Smith School of Business and holds a Certification of Achievement in the China Global Business Economy from Chinese European International Business School (CEIBS), Shanghai, China.  Laurel has goals to pursue a PhD in a field related to sports.