“Final Four” Competition Recap
After receiving almost 75 entries for Sports Career Consulting’s inaugural “SportsBiz Madness” High School Case Study Competition, we are left with just two teams. The championship round is set.
In the Final Four round, our competitors were asked to identify and cater to a niche market with the development of a new app. We encouraged students to harness their entrepreneurial spirit and build an app that would excite sports enthusiasts.
Each of the teams did a fantastic job meeting the evaluation standards for this particular case, demonstrating a clear understanding of sports business concepts like niche markets and distribution. However, the two teams that prevailed managed to gain a slight edge by finding unique angles to connect with consumers and presenting compelling cases for monetizing app development and marketing strategies.
The case we distributed for the championship round challenges students to review and analyze the current market position of a sneaker brand that has struggled in the past three months. In addition to creating a SWOT analysis, each team will be required to create a strategic plan for getting the brand back on track. We can’t wait to see what they come up with and look forward to sharing the results… Continue reading
The good folks at WalletHub recently released another great #sportsbiz infographic, this one with some fun facts behind this weekend’s Boston Marathon. Organizers of this year’s race also released an infographic, giving us the numbers behind one of the most iconic sporting events in the world.
“Elite Eight” Competition Recap
As SCC’s case study competition moved into the head-to-head tournament round, remaining teams were asked to create a fan engagement strategy for the Northwestern men’s basketball team. Following the most successful season in the program’s history, students were tasked with the goal of leveraging the team’s on-court success to boost ticket sales, merchandise sales and sponsorship through fan engagement.
We were really impressed with all of the entries as each team demonstrated a very clear understanding of all the sports business principles outlined in this particular case study. Each team presented a very compelling call to action for fans through social activations, sponsor engagement and advertising campaigns. Those who advanced, however, did the best job focusing on developing strategies for the off-season that would continue to tap into the momentum created by the Wildcats’ fantastic 2016-17 season.
While we’re sad to see four more outstanding student groups eliminated from our competition, we are looking forward to seeing what the remaining teams bring to the table in response to our third case study. The tournament’s next case study challenges students from an entrepreneurial perspective so it will be exciting to see what they come up with. Stay tuned! Continue reading
Opening Round Recap
We received 72 entries from student “teams” participating in our inaugural case study competition and couldn’t be more impressed with the submissions. Tasked with the development of a promotions plan that would help a new minor league baseball franchise based in Madison, Wisconsin reach a goal of 85% stadium capacity for the season, the student response was incredibly impressive. Students demonstrated a clear understanding of the important role ticket sales play in the financial viability of a minor league franchise, and how promotion and fan experience impact the team’s ability to sell.
We had a number student teams that submitted particularly impressive responses to the first case study. Unfortunately, only eight could be selected to advance to our “elite eight” round of the competition where the tournament shifts to a “head to head” format. Of course, selecting just eight teams from our pool of entries was extremely difficult. It was very evident that students put forth a lot of effort in creating their responses to the first case study, including a lot of background research on the Madison market, including local businesses and city/community traditions and history. For example, a number of teams named their franchise the “Madison Flamingos”, a reference to Madison’s “official city bird”, the yard flamingo. I grew up in Madison and didn’t even know that! We also saw a number of teams incorporating either cheese, cows, capitals (Madison is the capital city of Wisconsin) or popular area lake fish (Walleye, Pike, Muskies and Sturgeon) into team names, further demonstrating that the students did their homework on the Madison area.
As we evaluated each entry, it was fun to see the creativity behind all of the ideas for promotions, but ultimately we had to select the entries that best met the criteria established in the assigned case study. One of the most critical elements (in addition to offering creative and unique promotion ideas) was to provide a clear strategic plan for how promotions would help the franchise bottom line, specifically by meeting attendance goals. Those who communicated the best and most viable strategies were the teams selected to advance to the “Elite Eight” round.
However, we did want to acknowledge a few teams that were on the outside looking in. We referred to that group of entries as our “Sweet Sixteen”. Eight of the “Sweet Sixteen” teams were so close to moving on in the competition to the next round that we felt they deserved some recognition.
As we look ahead, eight teams will compete head to head for the chance to advance to the SportsBiz Madness Final Four. The teams were not seeded. Names were drawn from a hat and added to the bracket accordingly. We can’t wait to see what the students come up with as a response to the next case study as they are asked to create a fan engagement strategy for a college basketball program during the offseason… Continue reading
Last year, the North Carolina men’s basketball Twitter account had 303,000 followers when they advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. This year? Nearly 575,000, an impressive increase to say the least. Even more impressive is the increase seen by their rival Duke who enjoyed an astonishing 503% increase from last year at this time. While the Blue Devils were stunned by South Carolina and eliminated before they could reach the Sweet Sixteen, a million new Twitter followers in the last year might serve as a nice consolation prize.
But where do the rest of the teams remaining in the NCAA Tournament stack up? This infographic, created with the help of sports marketing students from Helena High School in Montana, provides a nice summary as we gear up for the Sweet Sixteen!
Fandom is a curious thing. In sports, we see it at varying levels. Fandom has, on occasion, driven people to engage in some rather irrational behavior. Why else would anyone tip over police cars or start fires in the street because their favorite team just won a championship? Fandom can also foster positive behavior. It can bring people together. If only for a few hours, people can set aside their differences and embrace a sense of togetherness, cheering for one common, collective goal…this is one of the reasons we love sports.
When it comes to the Super Bowl, fandom represents itself on many different levels. Some viewers won’t be sports fans at all, just watching to enjoy the company of friends and family and talk about commercials. Others will dress head to toe in their favorite team gear, right down to their socks and underwear. According to the latest infographic from WalletHub, 20% of football fans would even skip the wedding of a close friend or family member to see their favorite team live in the Big Game. 19% would skip the funeral of a loved one while 15% of those fans surveyed suggested they would skip the birth of their child. #Fandom at its finest! Enjoy the Super Bowl!
For those interested in discussing in class, here are a few ideas for conversation starters:
- What is “fandom” and what factors might influence the varying levels of fandom?
- Why is fandom important to sports and entertainment marketing professionals?
- Why might the city of Houston want to host the Super Bowl?
- Why do companies want to be associated with the Super Bowl? How can they connect their brands to the Big Game?
Click here to view the complete “fun facts” infographic in higher resolution from WalletHub on SCC’s Pinterest page.
Every year, sales of consumer goods like soda, snacks, pizza, chicken wings, avocados, beer and even televisions spike in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Not coincidentally, vendors work with supermarkets around the country and go all out to create elaborate point-of-purchase displays. Here are a few classic examples of ways brands have demonstrated some creativity in an effort to capture some Super Bowl hype and connect with fans.
Each year, thousands of film fans flock to Park City, Utah for the Sundance Film Festival. Last year, the Sundance Institute announced that the event generated $143.3 million in overall economic activity for the cities of Ogden, Sundance and Park City and a gross domestic product of $72.5 million in the State of Utah. They also reported an estimated value of publicity generated by the event to be nearly $100 million in 2016, a new record for the annual event. The following infographics present some interesting facts about the event that could help spark a fun conversation in your classrooms about everything from economic impact and publicity to sponsorship and industry trends. Enjoy!
Click here to view the full version (and higher resolution) of the 2016 version of the Sundance infographic on SCC’s Pinterest page.
Click here to view the full version (and higher resolution) of the 2015 version of the Sundance infographic on SCC’s Pinterest page.
Click here for an interactive infographic illustrating the event’s history from sundance.org.
Click here for the economic report released by the Sundance Institute breaking down last year’s economic impact on the area from sundance.org.
Like any other industry, technology continues to have a profound impact on sport. Tech has improved everything from the viewing experience at home to the actual product on the field. This infographic from visualistan.com examines the influence of tech on the future of sport.
After reviewing the infographic in class, ask your students some questions relating to the sport product and how tech will impact those products over time. Some suggestions:
- What is the sport product? What are some examples?
- What are some examples of different segments of the sports industry?
- Can you think of a specific example of how technology has impacted you personally as a sports consumer?
- How will technology continue to impact the sport product in the future?
- Can you think of other examples of tech that have influenced the sports industry not identified in this infographic?
- While there are obvious advantages to technology in sport, can you think of any disadvantages?
Click here to download a high resolution version of the infographic from visualistan.com.
We saw another fantastic effort from all of our schools in SCC’s sports marketing fantasy football league. This year’s competition was fierce with the top seven spots in the standings being determined by just a few points. Overall, our participating schools (25 different schools representing 15 different states) showed a lot of creativity while demonstrating a great understanding of the sports business principles that provide the foundation of our curriculum programs. It is always rewarding to see how well students can apply some of the fundamental lessons to a project like this…
With that, we have a few individual awards to give out this year… Continue reading