SportsBiz Madness: 2023 Case Study Tournament (Moving on to the Final Four Round)

Published by Chris Lindauer on

SportsBiz Madness: 2023 Case Study Tournament

In the “Elite Eight” round of our annual case study tournament, students were asked to begin with a SWOT analysis to assess the current position of the NFL’s Pro Bowl product. Using that analysis, they were asked to provide a recommendation for the best path forward for the NFL Pro Bowl, as well as applying each component of the marketing mix to help build excitement for future iterations of the event.

While all of the schools who made the “elite eight” round of our case study tournament submitted excellent ideas, just four teams could advance. The winners provided the most in-depth SWOT analysis with realistic strategies for boosting the popularity of the Pro Bowl. Here are the highlights from the elite eight round and a look at who will be moving on to the Final Four round of the competition.


Miami Valley Career Technical Center, Ohio (Sam, Samarion, Jabari)

Nearly every recommendation from this round of case studies included the inclusion of some kind of “skills competition” component. MVCTC students offered a unique spin that could certainly help to level up the Pro Bowl event. Each team (NFC and AFC) can earn points by winning skills competition events that will then be applied to the Pro Bowl game the next day. For example, the game might begin with a score of 8-5 in favor of the AFC because they received 8 points the day before in the competition to the NFC’s 5 points.

In addition to some unique and creative ideas, this group of students submitted a very detailed and thorough SWOT analysis and marketing mix. Congrats MVCTC, you have a spot in this year’s Final Four!

Flower Mound High School, Texas

One of three previous champions to advance this year (Flower Mound students took first place in the inaugural edition of this competition), Flower Mound High School students recommended a strategy of finding a new permanent home for the event in Miami, Florida, with an emphasis on a significant investment in advertising and promotion. Through a multimedia campaign that would feature social media, TV, radio, and print, the event would be the focus of a massive NFL marketing campaign.

What really stood out in the Flower Mound SWOT analysis and marketing mix was the recognition of the value, and opportunity, that the Pro Bowl event offers the NFL. Exploring unique ways to attract a wider audience would allow the league to capitalize on that opportunity, and Flower Mound students had a sound plan for maximizing the reach of the event, including extending the broadcast of the event to Disney XD, appealing to a younger audience and building a new generation of NFL fans.

Overall, a fantastic effort from students at Flower Mound High School!

Downers Grove North High School, Illinois

As defending champs in this competition, students at Downers Grove North submitted a variety of unique and creative ideas, paired with a fantastic SWOT analysis and development of a marketing mix. Some highlights:

  • A halftime show starring Pitbull
  • Celebrity skills competition during “skills weekend”
  • Adding significant financial incentive to encourage more star players to participate, including sponsors to help foot the bill and tying in a cause campaign with charities of player choice
  • Sponsorship with DraftKings to increase interest by way of unique wagering opportunities during the game itself and skills competition
  • Having fans vote for the game’s MVP
  • Adding a player “draft” component to building the Pro Bowl rosters, with “legends” drafting players in a live-streamed event

This was a really nice job effort from Downers Grove North students. Will they become the first back-to-back champions in the case study competition?

Green Run High School, Virginia

With perhaps the best response to this case study, Green Run students appear poised to make a run at this year’s tournament championship. Through an incredibly comprehensive SWOT analysis and a very detailed marketing mix, this group really brought it in this round of the competition.

A few of the ideas we really liked:

  • Recognition of the impact the event can have on a local community, GRHS students would have the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico host the event
  • Events to span the entire weekend to keep fans engaged and entertained
  • In addition to the economic impact benefit, the event would provide additional community outreach to help lift Puerto Rico after two devastating hurricanes
  • The event would feature some of the top college prospects in the lead up to the NFL combine and NFL draft
  • A tie in with sponsor State Farm to address player safety and concerns about stars sitting out the event because of an injury risk with insurance rewards for those playing in the event, including compensation to the team in the event of an injury
  • Rule changes to help reduce injury risk (like a running clock to reduce the number of plays, 7-on-7 rather than 11-on-11)
  • Introduction of a youth component to the event, including a sponsor
  • “Pre Bowl” music event to drive more visibility and generate a bigger TV audience and attendance
  • Creative ways to increased fan engagement

Overall, a really impressive performance from Green Run High School!


Congrats to those students who advanced to the Final Four round of the competition and good luck!

Categories: Blog

Chris Lindauer

After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.