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Deakin Sport Management students take world first win

Four DBS students are the first international team in the 20-year history of the National Sport Forum to win the NSF case study competition.

The National Sport Forum (NSF) is the biggest association of professional sport organisations in the USA. Since 2003 they have organised a case study competition for postgraduate students from the strongest sport business schools in the US as well as selected international schools. 

This year, for the first time, the NSF created the Challenge Cup for undergraduate students.

Tasked to present a detailed marketing, brand awareness and ticket sales strategy for the Angel City Football Club in Los Angeles, Deakin’s undergraduate team, Shimona Albuquerque, Lutfi Baddiley, Acacia Quinn and Pranav Saale developed their case. 

With a strong presentation, they competed and won in their preliminary round competition on October 10 and were announced as one of three finalists, up against Syracuse University and The University of New Haven. 

With just four days to prepare the team was busy incorporating the judging panel’s feedback and including a “twist” in the case for the final presentation on October 17.

As a US based competition, time zones did not work in our team’s favour and, the final was scheduled at 5am Melbourne time. The team had to arrive at the Burwood campus before 3am to prepare with a final run-through (and pre-presentation nap!).

After delivering an excellent presentation to the judges and handling the Q&A that followed with flair, the team was consigned to a nervous wait, unable to view the other finalists’ presentations.

At 6.00am the results were announced with Deakin beating out Syracuse University and University of New Haven respectively. Exhausted but elated, the team could now relax.

Sport Management lecturer Dr Scott Field emphasised the significance of the team’s achievement, saying, ‘Winning an international case study competition organised by the US primarily for the US with a case based in the US and a US judging panel is quite something!’

Professor David Shilbury, Chair of Sport Management, added ‘Huge congratulations to this team! To prepare and present so well in the midst of end-of-T2 assignments, exams, work and travel commitments is HUGE! Add to that a timeline that required the final presentation to be delivered at 5.00am local time.’ 

The victorious students have won flights and accommodation to the 2024 NSF Conference in Pittsburgh in February, a great reward and fantastic opportunity to network and experience the US sport industry first hand.

Special thanks to the Sport Management faculty and Fred Le Goff, senior sport marketing strategist at Deakin University, for their support.

Watch the winning presentation

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