2013Feb 26

Analyze This: SPAD is a World Leader in Sport Business Analytics

SPADLogo1By SPAD Blogger Benoit Roy

SPAD and MIT are two acronyms that have never sounded so perfect together.  At this year’s MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, the SPAD team of Darby Reive, Matt Jackowetz, and Katarina Schwabe will be presenting their solution to the case competition to a panel of judges in the undergraduate case competition. To earn the honour, the SPAD team needed to compete in a blind review by a panel of experts who ranked SPAD as one of the top three undergraduate entries.  By being selected as one of the three finalists, SPAD has already proven to be one of the top three programs and now has a chance to come away as the champions of what Forbes has called the “Super Bowl of sports analytics.”

SPAD has traditionally produced business professionals well-versed in sales, marketing, and sponsorship, but this shouldn’t come as a surprise considering students entering the program expect to leave with the ability to provide creative solutions for organizations.  Today, the method for producing a solution requires more than just a creative thought process, and that’s where sports business analytics come into play for these students.  Their decision to submit a solution to the case stemmed from their increased interest and awareness of sports analytics and economics.  Along with some of the interesting recent publications that have brought sports analytics into mainstream culture (ie. Moneyball, Scorecasting, etc.), the students’ interest was spurred after working for the Institute for Sport Marketing this past summer.  There, Darby, Matt, and Kat received training in analytical software and completed projects related to sport analytics.  At the beginning of the academic year, the trio founded the Laurentian University Sports Analytics Group (www.lusag.ca) where they could work on their own projects and conduct research pertaining to their interests in sport analytics.  From their experience, the impact that this relatively new subject in sport can have on leagues, teams and other organizations makes it worthwhile to progress with their research.  Darby and Matt have also begun the process of earning a Minor in Economics to supplement their interest in sport analytics and their Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree in Sports Administration.

Looking forward, the group will be preparing throughout the week in advance of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, which will be held March 1-2.  This year’s undergraduate case pertains to examining potential new business opportunities using MLB.com’s “At The Ballpark” mobile app. The presentation is slated for Friday, where they will speak in front of the likes of Mark Cuban, Brian Burke, executives with Ticketmaster, ESPN, and other major faces of the industry.  Final results of the competition should be announced on Saturday. Darby states, “the opportunity extended to us is certainly once in a lifetime.  We’re fortunate to have received significant support for our peers and professors, and we look forward to presenting our case to the panel.  For now, we’ve got a lot of work to do!” From everyone in SPAD, good luck!

Stay tuned to the SPAD Blog for more details of the events in Boston and follow the @LU_SPAD official Twitter feed for any updates.

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