Ryan K. Zapalac, John J. Miller and Kelsey C. Miller
Julie Tyler was recently hired as President of the Sacramento River Cats, a Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. With a little over one month on the job, Julie encounters a situation she has never had to deal with when an earthquake strikes her facility. The River Cats are not severely impacted by the earthquake, but a rival organization (the Fresno Grizzlies; Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros) experiences some fairly serious damage and injuries. Julie has to decide whether to modify the schedule to meet the needs of the Grizzlies, to appease some of her other stakeholders with varying interests, and/or pursue a competitive advantage for her organization. Julie makes the decision to review a similar situation for guidance on her decision. The situation she decides to employ is a series relocation that the Houston Astros had to make to Tampa, Florida following the devastation created by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. Her decision has to be made expeditiously as their next series with the Grizzlies takes place in four days.
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.