Some of the world’s brightest graduate business students are on the SDSU campus today for the eighth annual SDSU International Sports MBA Case Competition.
The event, hosted by the SDSU Sports MBA program, features a 24-hour case study contest in which teams work to solve an issue for a sports business organization. This year’s topic focused on developing a sustainable growth strategy for the Xolos, the professional soccer organization based in Tijuana.
The Xolos were founded just six years ago and last year won the top division Liga MX title, an unprecedented victory that thrust the team into the international spotlight. The case prompt asked students to develop a business strategy to build on this success and manage the team’s growth in the United States.
This involves devising a revenue and branding strategy to “define the future of the club,” as well as figure out how to maximize ticket sales at the team’s undersized stadium that even after an expansion project is completed cannot compete with some of the mammoth coliseums in Mexico that competitors play in. Finally, teams were asked to present one “wild card” strategy, complete with an analysis of its benefit to the club as well as a roadmap for implementation.
Students competing this year have come from well-regarded MBA programs such as Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, the University of Oxford, the University of Michigan, the University of Notre Dame, SDSU Sports MBA, UCLA and USC.
The competition will be judged by three members of the Xolos’ own front office as well as two nationally renowned sportswriters, one of whom recently wrote a full-length feature on the Xolos, so they will be pitching the very people who can turn their ideas into reality.
“The Xolos are an outstanding partner for an event like this,” said Scott Minto, director of the SDSU Sports MBA program. “Theirs is an unprecedented situation in business of sports in which they’ve had so much success on the field in such a short time, yet they’re not yet scratching the surface of their brand’s potential growth. The teams’ creative ideas are likely to be implemented by the club very soon, which makes it a rewarding experience for these MBA students.”
Topics for previous SDSU case competitions have included the inaugural World Baseball Classic, IMG, the San Diego Padres, a college football playoffs and creating a sustainable funding structure for the USOC.
Follow the event live on Twitter throughout the day @SDSUsportsMBA and be sure to check the blog later tonight for further updates from the competition.