SportsBiz Madness: 2024 Case Study Tournament (Moving on to the Final Four Round)

Published by Chris Lindauer on

SportsBiz Madness: 2024 Case Study Tournament

In the “Elite Eight” round of our annual case study tournament, students were asked to leverage the addition of flag football to the 2028 Summer Games program in Los Angeles in a way that helps the NFL to grow its global brand. Through market research and a SWOT analysis, they were asked to provide a recommendation for how the NFL can maximize this opportunity to attract new fans from international markets.

Congratulations to the four schools who are advancing in this year’s tournament.


Green Run High School, Virginia

Defending Case Study Tournament champion Green Run students developed an exceptional marketing plan, and conducting a significant amount of market research will help the NFL establish a sound strategy for reaching international fans. Studying fan behavior and preferences of some of the most popular global sports that will also take the stage in the 2028 Games, like cricket, rugby, and baseball, was a great idea to help identify opportunities to attract the attention of those fans.

Students also introduced a wide variety of activations leading up to the Los Angeles Games that would not only help to increase the visibility of the sport but also knowledge and understanding of the game by encouraging participation. In addition, the group conducted a detailed and thorough SWOT analysis, which helped explain the rationale behind the decisions presented in the marketing plan.

For example, they recognized that while many American fans are less enthusiastic about flag football than its traditional tackle football counterpart thanks to its lack of contact, a safer sport has advantages from a positioning perspective when marketing to international fans who are less familiar with the game.

Congrats, Green Run! You have a spot in this year’s Final Four for the fifth straight year!

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 demonstrated a firm grasp of the importance of marketing research when building a marketing plan. For example, this group of students planned to use both primary and secondary research as tools to help segment the international market and determine the best possible target audience.

Students also introduced several unique ideas for connecting with fans worldwide, including the launch of a mobile game and developing a strong social media presence. They also submitted an actual TikTok post as an example, which was really cool to see.

Really impressive stuff from Flower Mound High School!

Downers Grove North High School (Period 4), Illinois

Winners of this competition two years ago, students at Downers Grove North look locked in and ready to compete for another championship as period four advances to this year’s Final Four. In addition to excelling in each of the areas of evaluation in this case study, such as market research and social media marketing, this group also incorporated a branding strategy to give the marketing plan some additional direction.

Creating an “NFL Come Play” platform to serve as a hub for all flag football marketing activities was high-level thinking. It allows the league to establish flag football with its own identity. The slogan “One Game, One World” will help position the sport as a global game.

Downers Grove students also impressed with their recognition of the importance of engagement to a social media campaign. Curating and creating compelling content is the key to interaction, and the strategy from these students will boost interaction with fans, allow for measurement and evaluation, and capture fan attention.

Great job!

Blacksburg High School, Virginia

There was much to like about the case study submission from Blacksburg High School. It was clear how much research and effort went into creating their flag football marketing plan. Identifying the NFL’s current international marketing initiatives and piggybacking on those really helped with a very effective SWOT analysis. They also were wise to tap into existing fan clubs and other football leagues in different countries to help establish building blocks leading up to the 2028 Summer Games, which aligns with this group’s grassroots strategy. Appointing flag football ambassadors as part of the marketing program was another great idea. Blacksburg students were among several groups that identified which current and former NFL players have roots outside of the United States and recruited those players to participate in the league’s marketing. This group submitted a fantastic marketing plan and an excellent response to this case study. They will be rewarded with a trip to the Final Four.

Way to go Blacksburg 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.