Warsaw sports business students set record for Case Cup wins

Second-year University of Oregon MBA students from the Warsaw Sports Business Center earned the top spot at The National Sports Forum Case Cup Competition, beating out 11 other teams and securing the title of winningest school in the history of the competition. 

Team members Lauren Volzer, Brodi Sabiston, Quinn Van Horne, Coby Barbar and Michael Heinonen had 24 hours to develop ideas and pitch their plan to a panel of judges made up of industry professionals. This year’s case topic focused on developing a three-day, two-night festival in the Pittsburgh area for local organization SportsPITTSBURGH , said Craig Leon, MBA program manager for the Warsaw Sports Business Center. The end goal was to increase overnight stays in the city. 

The team advanced out of the group stage by beating the University of Massachusetts, Southern Methodist University and the University of Iowa. In the final round, the team bested Ohio University and George Washington University. 

The UO received high praise, Leon said, from another school’s faculty adviser, who called the UO “the Harvard of sports marketing.”

“This conference truly left a lasting impact on my professional journey, and I'm eager to apply the knowledge I've acquired as I enter the workforce in June,” said team captain Lauren Volzer, a 2024 MBA candidate. 

“It was an incredible experience to network and learn from industry leaders across the sports industry,” said Michael Heinonen, team member and 2024 MBA candidate. “We gained valuable insights from breakout sessions covering AI, changing priorities in sport sponsorships, and the growth of global football in the United States.”

The win also secures the UO Warsaw Center a record fourth championship at the event, moving the Ducks ahead of Ohio University and the University of South Florida, each with three titles. The team’s presentation can be seen on YouTube.

Top photo: Oregon MBA students (from left) Quinn Van Horne, Lauren Volzer, Brodi Sabiston and Coby Barbar accept their award at The National Sports Forum.