Chris Barnhill and Amy Rundio
Like many sport organizations, the Savannah Squares Minor League Baseball franchise is a seasonal business. The team earns most of its revenue during the playing season and must manage its cash effectively throughout the fiscal year. Fixed costs and other cash expenditures often fall into a pattern that differs from the cash receipts schedule. Poor cash management, inaccurate budgets, and improper execution of annual budgets lead to costly cash shortfalls. For the Savannah Squares, annual pro forma budgets have predicted tight but positive earnings for the past few years; however, monthly shortages have led to penalties and late fees that ate into profits and caused financial strain on the organization. Using historical trends and other available data, Juan Hernandez has decided to create a cash budget to identify months with cash surpluses and shortfalls so that he can implement better cash management strategies.
Emily Dane-Staples and Stephen Gonzalez
Sport managers are required to handle times of uncertainty by managing their employees effectively and working to ensure that the objectives of the organization can be maintained. This case follows the fictional Harrison Hornets AA baseball team through the COVID-19 pandemic and how their chief executive officer/chief operating officer, Rachel Chambers, manages the front office employees. The employer/employee interactions in this case demonstrate the challenges faced by managers attempting to balance things they can and cannot control. In working through the case, students become aware of consequences stemming from specific choices, the struggles managers face when dealing with varying personalities, and issues of inequality that arise when working with diverse stakeholders. The broadness of the narrative provides instructor latitude on implementation for a variety of courses and modes of student participation. The teaching notes provide multiple options to expand beyond the case itself, including research and information literacy tasks that can develop student skills.
Suzannah Armentrout, Jen Zdroik, and Julia Dutove
The COVID-19 pandemic changed not only the way professional sports were played in 2020, but also changed the way sport-related organizations had to operate. An example of this is a fictional sports app, FanStand, that primarily offered opportunities for sports teams to engage fans through team information, in-game trivia and contests, services at games, and the purchasing of tickets and merchandise. The primary use of the app was inside arenas and stadiums, meaning that when COVID-19 stopped all play, the app was not used. Even as professional sport returned to play, fans were not attending in-person games and were not using the app. The purpose of this case study is to consider how apps like FanStand can generate revenue during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond, using strategic and operational planning, as well as stakeholder theory, to account for various groups and individuals who are impacted by the decisions FanStand makes during this time.
Ryan Snelgrove and Laura Wood
Lindee Declercq, Keegan Dalal, Megan Piché, Nicholas Burton, and Michael Naraine
In this case study, students will explore how sport sponsorship can be used to drive business development. They will follow the fictitious story of Amazon, developing a plan to expand its operations into the Middle East through the eSports platform Twitch. Twitch, a video game livestreaming site has contributed to the rise popularity of eSports. Thanks to its appeal to the youth demographic, it is revealed Twitch offers a unique platform that can give Amazon a competitive advantage. This aligns with the Middle East’s increasing interest in becoming a global sport leader. After further exploring the Middle East market, the potential value of this sponsorship will be determined. In addition, business-to-consumer strategies will be consulted to justify the plan put forward by Amazon. Learning objectives include understanding the role of new media and being able to understand the early phases of a sponsorship plan.
Victoria Kabetu, Ryan Snelgrove, Kimberly J. Lopez, and Daniel Wigfield
Steve Kroger, president and COO of Hockey Canada, is contemplating how to attract and retain more young people who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in minor hockey (ages 4–18 years). Hockey Canada the governing association for amateur hockey in the country has created programs that make the sport accessible for more people to try, yet Steve recognizes there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to increase participation rates among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color athletes. Drawing on a policy paper for anti-racism in Canadian hockey, Steve tasks his team with developing strategies aimed at making the sport more inclusive and boosting participation.
David Pierce, Geoffre Sherman, Kyle Mechelin, and Bryan Kryder
Youth sports is facing a crisis that threatens the ecosystem of youth sports. Innovation—the ability to generate and execute new ideas—is needed to stem the negative tide of a declining and aging officiating pool and improve the recruitment and retention of sports officials. Without creative problem solving and innovation by many different stakeholders in youth sports, the benefits that children receive from participating in sports are threatened by the lack of qualified officials to referee competitive games and matches. This case pushes students well past the news headlines of angry parents yelling at officials and deep into several problem spaces that emerge from the application of design thinking. Students are introduced to design thinking and prompted to innovate solutions to problems framed using the design thinking process. Students can select a preidentified problem space, then work through an ideation session facilitated by the instructor.
Kerri Bodin, Georgia Teare, Jordan T. Bakhsh, and Marijke Taks
Youth sport participation preferences are evolving and shifting toward unorganized, nontraditional types of sport participation. This trend has left more traditional sports with decreasing participation numbers. Baseball Canada noticed a similar trend and therefore implemented an innovative approach to increase interest and participation in baseball. This case study follows Alex, the Manager of Sport Development at Baseball Canada, as they develop and evaluate Baseball5™, an innovative street version of the traditional sport of baseball. This alternative form of baseball needs to be tested and evaluated in five pilot programs throughout Canada. Alex collects survey, interview, and focus group data following each of the pilot programs to determine whether the approach is viable for increasing interest in baseball long term. After reading the case, students are tasked with analyzing the collected data and designing the Baseball5™ program for long-term implementation. The case is ideal for upper year undergraduate students who have the skills and knowledge necessary to execute program evaluations and build holistic program implementation plans, and for undergraduate courses in research methods or data analysis.