Ivey Publishing

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The University of Texas: Conference Realignment for College Athletics
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17 pages (12 pages of text)
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Case (Library)
In the summer of 2010, the landscape of university athletics in the United States faced the potential for groundbreaking change. U.S. university sports teams belonged to conferences — alliances of competing sports teams, often from similar geographic locations. Rumours of conference realignment were suggesting a significant shift away from traditional conference membership and structure. With renegotiations for a multi-year television contract looming, a prominent conference has announced plans for expansion, with the goal of securing a lucrative television agreement through new members. While considering factors such as resources, exposure and tradition, various conferences are actively pursuing one dominant institution in particular, the University of Texas. As a result, the Texas team faces a crucial decision: to leave its position for another conference and significantly alter the landscape of collegiate athletics or to remain a member of its current conference and face the ramifications involved in any additional fragmentation.
Learning Objective:
This case is targeted towards undergraduate or graduate students of strategic management, higher education administration and/or sport management. The case is best suited to a course dealing with strategy in the external environment or a course on the relationship between cooperation and competition. Initially approaching the case from an open-discussion format will allow for observations about motives, incentives and considerations for the University of Texas. Additionally, the instructor should encourage the recognition of strategic resources, key stakeholders involved and positioning within an alliance. Case analysis can be expanded to include theoretical perspectives of the resource-based view, strategic alliances, stakeholder analysis, core rigidities and competitor analysis.
General Management/Strategy
Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
United States, Large, 2010
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$4.50 CAD / $4.25 USD Digital Download
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