The 9th annual SDSU International Sports MBA Case Competition focused on the iconic brand Ironman. The case challenged teams from Notre Dame, University of Southern California, UC-Berkley, Oxford, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and SDSU Sports MBA to devise a global business strategy for IRONMAN.
Judges from Ironman – including the Chief Sales Officer, Content Manager and Senior Manager of Business Development – deemed Notre Dame the winners. Chinese University of Hong Kong earned runner-up honors. The Challenged Athletes Foundation – an organization that supports training, competition, and equipment needs to people with disabilities – hosted the event at its state-of-the-art facility.
After receiving the case, teams had 24 hours to prepare a 20-minute presentation. Participants also needed to prep for 10 minutes of rigorous questioning from the judges. Alex Gross of Notre Dame said two of the four members of his team had finance backgrounds, and the other two had more experience with marketing.
We thought it would play to our strengths to split up the case initially,” Gross said. “We worked individually, then came back together to pitch ideas to the group.”
Patrick Covert, who was competing in his first case competition away from Notre Dame, said he was impressed with the organization of the event. “It blew away my expectations from the moment we arrived to the moment we left,” Covert said. “The case was challenging, and Scott (Minto) and JB (Jennifer Bulcao) couldn’t have been better at making sure everything was taken care of.”
“I’m consistently amazed every year with the quantity of ideas that teams manage to come up with in such a short time, and the quality of the presentations they give on less than a few hours’ sleep,” Minto said. “This year was no exception, and every team in the group of seven put together an outstanding presentation. That’s what makes this competition so special; we host some of the top MBA programs in the world, and the value of the consulting expertise they provide for our partner organization is incredible.”
As part of the case competition experience, all seven teams were given a behind the scenes tour of Petco Park prior to receiving information about the case.
All 30 members of the class of 2015 were in attendance – taking notes on presentation styles and techniques – preparing for competition against students from some of the top business schools in the world one year from now.