Ivey Publishing

Curling in China: How Far Can the Sport Go?

The sport of curling provides an exciting context for instructors and students to explore a variety of topics.

Curling was officially included in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. Since then, its popularity has spread beyond its Scottish roots and established presence in Canada to many other countries, including China.

After the Olympics, The Chinese Curling Association has managed to elevate its national team to an elite status, admired internationally. How was it able to achieve this standing within a 10-year period and with fewer than 300 curlers?

In 2014, the Association needed to develop a strategic approach in order to increase the popularity of the sport in a healthy and sustainable way. Just how far could this sport go in China with threats looming?

Yin Chinese CurlingThis question forms the basis of a new business case by Yin Chen, an international instructor at Beijing Foreign Studies University. We asked her about her Chinese Curling Association: The Way Ahead case, for use in undergraduate, graduate, and MBA classes on strategic management, international strategy, and sports management or public policy.

Why do you think the Chinese Curling Association made a good case study?

I’ve been following the Chinese Curling Association for years. It’s a widely admired organization in its industry and a perfect case for students who are studying business policy. More interestingly, the case can be used to illustrate the innovation diffusion theory.

What makes the case relevant for students?

This case offers a more exciting way for students to study sports management in China. Students can obtain valuable knowledge about the Chinese sports industry, as this information is rarely available in public sources—especially in English.

What do you see as the value of writing and teaching with real-life business cases?

I believe writing and teaching with real-life business cases are rewarding experiences. It also makes for better teachers.

What advice do you have for an author writing a case for the first time?

If you are thinking about writing your first case, you are halfway there; determination and inspiration will take you the rest of the way.

Would you like to learn more about writing cases? There’s still time to register for Ivey Publishing’s upcoming Case Teaching and Writing Workshops in California, December 9–12, 2016.

The Chinese Curling Association: The Way Ahead case is available from Ivey Publishing. If you would like to use this case, connect with the Ivey Publishing customer support team at cases@ivey.ca or 1-800-649-6355, or order the case online at iveycases.com.