A team of University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business Administration MBA students brought home the championship trophy from the National Sports Forum Case Cup Competition Feb. 7-9 in Dallas. One of 10 teams selected for the competition, the CBA team included captain Emma Dickinson, Boston; Christopher Aumueller, Lincoln, Neb.; Oscar Del Castillo, Omaha, Neb.; and Brett Sapp, Lincoln, Neb.
Sam Nelson, associate director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and assistant professor of practice in management and faculty adviser, said, “Since it was our first time in this competition with the top sports administration programs in the nation, no one thought they had a chance to win. Doing so well in this competition means Nebraska’s name is out there.”
The NSF Case Cup Competition is a masters case-style competition designed to push students to excel in a real world, fast paced environment similar to working conditions in the sports industry. The teams invited to participate were from Ohio University, University of Oregon, Temple University, Canisius College, University of Dallas, Missouri State University, Southern Methodist University, University of South Carolina, Boston College and UNL.
The teams were given 24-hours to solve a ticket sales problem for the major league soccer team, FC Dallas. The UNL team determined the actual problem was brand perception and planned a series of events around the low-selling games to boost ticket sales. They also engaged booster groups and created a billboard campaign.
“The overall experience was incredible and all of us benefited from being there,” said Dickinson. “All the schools competing had established sports administration programs. If UNL students can continue to attend this conference, it will elevate their careers and offer a huge advantage.”
The conference also offered networking opportunities with executives from every aspect of athletic administration. After UNL won the competition, many prospective employers talked with the team.
“At the end of the day, the judges picked Nebraska because we were the team they would hire as a firm to solve their problem. It was unanimous,” Nelson said.