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Case studies form the basis for the development of what business scholars have termed best practices scenarios. The Harlem Globetrotters International (HGI) is one of the most successful sport franchises in history. In this case study, we trace the development of HGI, from its beginnings in 1926 to its acquisition in 1993 by present owner and CEO, Mannie Jackson. We present a situational analysis of HGI from Jackson's perspective at the time of purchase. Next we outline Jackson's vision, objectives, and competitive strategy. We present Jackson's strategic brand management tactics. Next, we present Jackson's interpretation of the success of HGI's strategy and his interpretation of HGI's strengths, weaknesses, threats, and positive outlook. Appendix H presents relevant financial data that can be used to analyze HGI's success and shortcomings. Appendix I presents discussion questions. This case study is intended to be used as a teaching tool.
L.W. Fielding and J.R. Brown are with the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. L.K. Miller is with the Department of Health and Physical Education at Wichita State University, Wichita, KS 67260.