MBA/MS Sport Students Tackle Exciting “Real World” Consulting Projects
January 26, 2018
The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management has secured two high profile sport industry clients to participate in our 2018 MBA Practicum consulting projects, the capstone experience to our dual-degree (MBA/MS) curriculum. Strategic management briefs have been crafted with Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls, and The Madison Square Garden Company.
The New York Red Bulls will work with six McCormack MBAs to address the changing landscape of product differentiation in sports, specifically concerning ticket purchase and team identification decisions. Students will report in to Chief Commercial Officer Amy Scheer (’86 BS alumnus), who has been tasked with driving revenue for the club through partnerships, ticket sales and youth training programs in her almost three years with Red Bulls. “Sports team ticket plans have stayed the same for many years without taking in to account shifting consumer behavior,” Scheer notes. “As our consumers get younger and display different buying behaviors, sports teams need to follow suit and offer ticket plans that align with consumer behavior while keeping them engaged with the team. We are hoping that UMass and its students are able to help us create a new fan product that aligns consumer buying behavior with ticket offerings and engaging team benefits.” This will be the McCormack Department’s first Practicum project with a Major League Soccer club, offering students first-hand access and perspective into the league’s continued growth in North America.
The Madison Square Garden Company will collaborate with five McCormack MBAs on an esports assignment following their July 2017 acquisition of Counter Logic Gaming, a premier North American esports organization with leading teams and a passionate worldwide fan base. As MSG looks to integrate its unmatched expertise in marketing partnerships, media rights, event operations, and fan engagement into the ever-changing but fast growing esports landscape, McCormack students will help craft measurement and strategy recommendations across the new property’s portfolio of assets. Students will report in to Vice President of Marketing Partnerships Tom Cerasoli (’05 MBA/MS alumnus), who notes, “We recently purchased a controlling stake in Counter Logic Gaming as part of our long-term growth strategy. As with any newly acquired property, we have a need to fully understand the opportunity so we can properly position it in the market as a compelling investment. Our collaboration with UMass is not an academic assignment we came up with to keep graduate students occupied over the next several months; it is a true experiential learning project as we will conduct similar analysis on our own before comparing and contrasting strategies with the students when the dust settles. We’re excited to craft future industry recommendations with McCormack’s MBA program.” This collaboration with MSG/CLG represents one of several developments the Department is undertaking to expose students to the business of esports.
These two clients follow a distinguished list of past Practicum consulting clients, including: Visa, Under Armour, Bank of America, ’47 Brand, Boston Cannons, Xenith Corporation, Major League Baseball International, The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Right To Play USA, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, and the Alli Dew Tour, among others.