SportsBiz Madness Case Study Competition: On to the Championship Round!

Thanks to our Judges!

An extra special thanks to Alex Dobson and Audible Design, an ad agency in Portland, for evaluating the Final Four round of our case study competition entries.  Leaning on the expertise of industry veterans with a long track record of success to evaluate this round of entries was invaluable.  Their feedback (read the post below for more) provides fantastic context for not only the four teams remaining in our competition, but also the students and teachers following along in their own classrooms.

Great stuff, thanks guys!

“Final Four” Competition Recap

After receiving nearly 60 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, and we have an all East Coast finale.

In the previous round of this competition, our competitors were tasked with the development of an advertising campaign for New Balance to help the brand gain market share in the basketball market, leaning on one of the athletes who rep the brand (Kawhi Leonard) and the company’s new NBA sponsorship deal.  Teams were given a budget and a “rate card” (list of costs associated with each advertising medium), then asked to develop a promotional campaign to promote the brand.

** Thanks again to Audible Design for taking the time to review and provide feedback for this competition.

Final Four Round Recap: We thought all teams did an excellent job of building their ad campaigns. They all showed a great understanding and rationale behind how to utilize each media format, which ones made the most sense, and how to utilize influencers/endorsers for the New Balance brand/product. We also really enjoyed seeing the thought and creativity put into all of their ad examples (always the most fun part of advertising!). A great effort from EVERYONE on that front.

All in all, these were VERY difficult decisions to make as everyone did such a great job and it was clear that all agencies put great thinking and their heart into their work. For that we are grateful, we say thank you and remember that the “best work,” in advertising is almost ALWAYS subjective. Plenty of great ideas never find the light of day or just take clients longer to get “there.” Be tenacious in your craft and your belief in your work!

Downers Grove North High School, Period 1 (Illinois) vs. Tappan Zee High School (New York)

Downers Grove, Period 1 (Prestige Marketing):

PM did an outstanding job with thinking about how to use NBA athletes specific to their playing markets and utilizing media formats that would complement those endorsements. Also appreciated their effort to not only talk about which media properties made the most sense, but also which ones DID NOT and why. This is commonly something you have to do with clients in the advertising world–they come into a meeting with their own opinions and you have to be prepared to vigorously defend yours!

Tappan Zee High School (Slinger Enterprises, Inc.)

SEI did a really nice job of digging into and utilizing metrics, ratings, etc. to help rationalize their media selections. This extra bit of detail helped to sell in SEI’s recommended plan.

Kudos for showing price comparison and rating trends on why you selected the Grammy’s vs. Academy Awards. SEI also did a nice job of including research links to their ratings and audience numbers to help bolster their recommendation.

For OOH, we really appreciated the specificity of the LA placement next to The Forum in Inglewood as a great nod to the future home of the Clippers, and their utilizion of social media to help drive their campaign messaging. As well, SEI provided a nice video script to help explain how they would bring their campaign to life through sight, sound, and motion (the power of video vs. other formats in media).

Bottom line? The Cinderella slipper still fits! Kudos to Team Tappan Zee, led by a single student without the benefit of input from additional team members. Can she pull off the ultimate upset and win this year’s case study tournament? We will soon find out!

Downers Grove North High School, Period 6 (Illinois) vs. Pinelands Regional High School (New Jersey)

Downers Grove North High School, Period 6 (The UP & Coming Agency)

U&C did a fantastic job of thinking about their cultural “next,” influencers with their utilization of Baby Keem (up and coming music artist) and Obi Toppin (up and coming college baller), and their focus to basketball “energy,” moments such as the NCAA Tournament and NBA Draft. Also felt they did a nice job of connecting their overall creative concept throughout all of their decisions to make it feel like an organized and consistent campaign.

Also, tremendous job throughout with providing the visuals to provide the conceptualizations, particularly liked the outdoor media. Pretty cool opportunity to go 3D or virtual with something like this too. Love it.

Pinelands Regional, New Jersey (Next Level)

While each of the teams did a great job with their rationale behind their campaign decisions, NL really lived up to their agency name. Their research and ratings/performance metrics behind each of their media selections was excellent. Going back to my comment about defending your decisions, utilizing these kinds of metrics really shows your clients that you’ve “done your homework,” and that you have a strong grasp of the media marketplace, how it works and how best you can put it to use for them.

Especially appreciated the detailed thought and effort to explain what programs/formats to use in tv and radio, what dayparts (times of day), the ratings/demographic analysis behind each of them, as well as their thorough approach/rationale on how and when to use OOH in each market and how it would take advantage of the sports/cultural energy moments (beyond basketball) that would be happening in those markets during their campaign (kudos on adding San Diego to the mix to celebrate their “hometown hero,” Kawhi). NL also did a nice job of thinking about how to leverage shared sports energies/admiration by enlisting the help of both professional futbol’rs and footballers. 🙂 Last but not least, their creative assets were very clean, simplified, and straight ahead, which always makes your brand message easier to absorb for consumers and thus stronger for brand recall.

Best of luck to our “Championship Round” teams as they square off in an East Coast battle to determine who wins our case study competition!

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ng with WHERE they would message, and not doing this in isolation. We can tell you from experience that making a creative idea without thought to the media plan or building a media plan without thought to the creative both lead to weaker overall impact and effectiveness. The best campaigns always INTEGRATE and give equal value to both inputs into the advertising/marketing equation.