MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference: First Pitch Case Competition

No, the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is not just a gathering of students looking for jobs. It’s a gathering of very talented students looking for jobs.

Each year the conference hosts a business case competition with teams from some of  the best MBA programs. There were teams from 21 schools, to be exact.

Arizona State University W. P. Carey School of Business
Babson College F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business
Boston College Carroll School of Management
Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business
Georgetown University McDonough School of Business
Harvard Business School
London Business School
MIT Sloan School of Management
Northeastern University D’AMore-McKim School of Business
San Diego State Sports MBA Program
UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
UCLA Anderson School of Management
University of Central Florida DeVos Sport Business Management
University of Chicago Booth School of Business
University of Virginia Darden School of Business
USC Marshall School of Business
Villanova School of Business

This year’s finalists are:

Columbia Business School – represented by Martin Kleinbard and Alex Zackheim
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business – represented by Michael Gries, Jonathan Hay, and Haibo Lu
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth – represented by Chuck Culp, Jon Ryder, and Dave Sibley

Now that we know the players, here’s the actual case:

Growing the MLB.TV Business Model

MLB, in 2002, became the first league to sell a live video subscription product on the Internet and since that time, MLB.TV has been one of the most successful of its kind on the Internet. MLBAM, which has built the technology infrastructure to power and grow this live video experience, has sold MLB.TV as a direct-to-consumer, out-of-market subscription service, mirroring the cable television dual-revenue model (subscription/advertising). Since that 2002 debut, 1.5 billion live streams of baseball games have been accessed by MLB.TVsubscribers. In 2012, MLB.TV had two price points – $124.99 for MLB.TV Premium and $99.99 for MLB.TV and saw a 40 percent growth in subscribers. Premium access allowed subscribers to watch live games across an array of connected devices, gaming consoles and mobile phones or tablets. What is the optimal business model for continuing to grow subscribers and revenue? Lower annual price points? No subscription supported by advertising and sponsorship? How much revenue would need to be generated to offset lower price points or advertising-only support and continue to grow subscribers and revenue annually?

The final presentations will take place Friday morning. We will be there to report back. Best of luck to all the competitors.