While live sport event attendance remains a pervasive and progressing issue for university athletic programs, athletic directors should consider strategies to boost perceptions of stadium innovativeness. Professional sport leagues have pursued the adoption of Wi-Fi capabilities much more aggressively than their collegiate sport counterparts. This case introduces the Wi-Fi adoption issue for collegiate sport including a conversation surrounding the foundational technical aspects of Wi-Fi and cellular data for sport venues, the current status of Wi-Fi for collegiate athletics in comparison with professional leagues, and the benefits and drawbacks of Wi-Fi adoption. Case participants are asked to evaluate the merits of Wi-Fi adoption for a “Power Five” institution from the position of the athletic director. Participants will address adopting functional technology for the rise in college esports, Wi-Fi inclusion for indoor and outdoor venues, and comparative analyses among connected and disconnected stadiums.
Nadège Levallet, Norm O’Reilly, Elizabeth Wanless, Michael Naraine, Ethan Alkon and Wade Longmire
Jeffrey Graham, Allison Smith and Sylvia Trendafilova
Craig Johnson is an associate athletic director for marketing and promotions in an athletic department at the collegiate level. Through conversation, he has recently realized that the graduate students working in his department as interns and graduate assistants feel that balancing work, school, and a personal life is impossible. As a mentor for working in sport, as well as their direct manager, he feels something must be done to assist these graduate students in managing the work–life interface, but is unsure where to start. Drawing from research in sport management and from the general management literature, the case gives insight into the issues, outcomes, and theories that inform the work–life interface. Undergraduate and graduate students in human resource management or organizational behavior courses who work through this case will have an opportunity to contemplate, discuss, and develop strategies for managing the issues surrounding balancing work and a personal life.
Laura Misener, Kerri Bodin and Marika Kay
This case follows Katie, a sport manager, as she researches Swimming Canada, an early adopter of integration (governing both able-bodied and para-swimming within one organization). The case demonstrates the organizational challenges and opportunities of integrating parasport and the able-bodied counterpart into one national sport governing body. While philosophically integration seems to be a good direction, the case of Swimming Canada demonstrates some of the key issues that need to be considered around access and inclusion, human capital resources for sport delivery, governance mechanisms, and the structure of sport that is influenced by many different social constructs. This case is particularly useful for addressing how sport policy and politics impact organizational change, inclusion, equity, and sport governance. The case is appropriate for use at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Jamee A. Pelcher and Brian P. McCullough
Sport organizations have begun to widely implement environmental sustainability into their daily operations, but more needs to be done to properly plan and implement these initiatives to ensure their long-term success. Specifically, college athletic departments struggle to be proactive in their approach to environmental sustainability despite the vast resources available to leverage in order to deeply commit to being an environmentally sustainable department on campus. This case study examines the strategic planning of sustainability initiatives in the Smallville University Athletic Department. This case provides students with an opportunity to (a) explore the importance of sustainability in sport, (b) analyze the role of stakeholders in a sports organization, (c) investigate common barriers to implementing sustainability in college athletics, and (d) consider creative options for implementing sustainable initiatives.
Lynley Ingerson and Michael L. Naraine
In early 2018, Cricket Australia, the national governing body for cricket in Australia, experienced a critical incident when men’s national test athletes were caught in a ball tampering scandal known as “Sandpaper-gate.” As the “custodians of the game,” integrity and culture are extremely important, and the incident was the catalyst for the organization to hire a new Integrity Manager. This case study concentrates on the story of Patrick Murphy, the new, fictitious hire at Cricket Australia tasked with helping to rebuild the organization’s ethical culture. After learning of Patrick’s past sport experiences, the narrative reveals additional non-fictitious elements that have emanated over the course of the past few years, which are affecting the organization’s present culture. After learning about the doping, human resource management, sex and diversity, and athlete management issues, Patrick is tasked with performing a culture audit and reporting back to his superiors. This case study offers a contemporary context in which to discuss ethics and culture in sport, notably from a large, non-North American sport organization.
Jules Woolf, Jess C. Dixon, B. Christine Green and Patrick J. Hill
Christiaan Jacobs is the new Dean of Student Affairs at the University of South Central Ontario, which puts him in charge of the Department of Athletics and Recreation. Jacobs has learned that the hypercompetitive environment established by the athletic director, Nathan Scott, has been causing friction in many areas of the department, potentially resulting in the resignation of several long-term employees. As part of an organizational audit, he interviewed many employees and had them complete the Competing Values Framework questionnaire, the results of which were troubling. How should Jacobs lead this department forward and can he count on Scott to be supportive of the direction that he wants it to go? The purpose of this case is to introduce students to the importance of organizational culture and challenges to organizational change. Students will learn about the Competing Values Framework, change management, and have the opportunity to analyze qualitative and quantitative data in formulating responses to the case-guiding questions. This decision-focused case is suitable for use with upper division undergraduate and graduate sport management students in courses such as Organizational Behavior, Strategic Management, Collegiate Athletics Administration, and Critical Issues in Sport.
Daniel Wigfield and Ryan Snelgrove
In March 2017, responding to a pressure to improve athlete development and enjoyment, Hockey Canada moved to change how youth are introduced to hockey by mandating the implementation of a cross-ice development program for its entry-level participants. The mandate of cross-ice programming was to ensure that all 75,000 entry-level participants received increased touches of the puck on an appropriately sized playing surface; thus, heightening their spatial awareness and foundational skills necessary to enjoyably move forward in hockey. As is common for many sport organizations, the proposed programming changes were met with resistance by some stakeholders. Surprisingly, the resistance to the programming changes evolved into a much-publicized intergroup conflict within Hockey Canada’s largest market. The dispute could not be resolved in time for the beginning of the 2017–2018 season. As a result, the defiant local leagues were granted a one-year reprieve from implementing cross-ice programming. With only a one-year reprieve granted, Hockey Canada must now determine the appropriate steps to fully implement their desired programming change and ensure that resistance-based conflicts are limited in the future.
This case study explores the pricing, marketing, and budgeting issues facing a participant obstacle racing event. Students will act as new board members of a junior chamber of commerce, the host organization of a multi-year obstacle racing event. The board is tasked with making decisions about the event related to price setting for entry fees, marketing strategy (including advertising), and budgeting. With the goal of increasing the number of runners, as well as the profit, students will need to use historical data from the event to make informed, data driven decisions. The primary learning objectives include evaluating the various pricing methods available to sports organizations and strategic budget development.
Melissa Davies, Michael L. Naraine and Brandon Mastromartino
This case asks participants to take on the role of a brand consultant, working for the fictional brand management firm, BrandNew, to advise on the branding of a new National Hockey League (NHL) franchise. The consultant will need to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the brand equity for three previous NHL expansion or relocation teams (i.e., Vegas Golden Knights, Winnipeg Jets, Carolina Hurricanes) in order to understand what goes into selecting an effective team name, color scheme, logo, mascot, and how to socially integrate into the host city market. Consultants will then make recommendations for the NHL’s next expansion team in Seattle, Washington, so as to build sustained brand equity in the Seattle market.
Jason W. Lee, Ryan K. Zapalac, Elizabeth A. Gregg and Courtney Godfrey
Rivalries are a powerful promotional tool that can help drive identification with a brand, attendance at sports events, and subsequent consumer spending. While rivalries often benefit the participating athletic departments directly, there are other peripheral benefits that institutions can take advantage of. For instance, campus recreation departments can use the rivalry to help boost participation and provide additional psychic income benefits. This case focuses on two NCAA Football Championship Subdivision rivals and the ways in which the branding of their annual football contest, the Battle of the Piney Woods, can be best leveraged by other programs in the university, namely campus recreation. A sample scenario of a relatively new recreational sports employee is provided along with promotional elements and background for the universities and the Battle of the Piney Woods event. The reader is challenged to devise strategies that can best tie the Battle of the Piney Woods rivalry to the promotion of recreational sports offerings. The goal of such an exercise is to have one examine how large inter-institutional rivalries can also benefit other sport organizations that are within the university but are not necessarily just in the athletic department.