Marketing Currents - Business and Marketing Current Events

Wordle: how a simple game of letters became part of the New York Times’ business plan


In just a few months, a simple five-letter puzzle has earned its creator a seven-figure sum. The growth of Wordle, in which players attempt to work out a mystery word, has been rapid. 

At the start of November 2021, the online game was played by just 90 people.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What is a business plan?
  2. Why is important for a company to have a business plan?
  3. How does marketing factor into a business plan?
  4. What is Wordle?
  5. What is a SWOT analysis?
  6. If you were performing a SWOT analysis for the New York Times, what might each component of the analysis look like?
  7. Why would the New York Times be interested in buying Wordle? How might that fit into a SWOT analysis?
  8. Based on information from this story, describe how Wordle has become part of the NYT business plan.
  9. Why was Wordle designed to be played only once per day?
  10. Why do you think the designer of Wordle chose not to charge people to play the game?
  11. Do you think New York Times will make any modifications to game play and/or charge consumers to play? Why or why not?
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.