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This article describes the use of an extended case that simulates the front-office management of a National Basketball Association franchise during the off-season. Undergraduate students in an introduction to sport management course are tasked with making a series of sequential and interconnected decisions over a semester related to hiring a coach, producing a press release and press conference, analyzing player performance, creating a turnaround plan, managing a roster, establishing a culture following change, and relaunching the team’s brand. The benefits of this approach include the application of knowledge to practice, an understanding of a sport sector, making decisions in teams, adapting to new organizational environments, understanding how to make sequential decisions, and understanding how decisions are interconnected over time and across departments.
The authors are with the Dept. of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada.