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Case Study: Football Attendance & Revenue

By Dr. Kevin A. Blue, UC Davis


Today we are introducing the case study as a new form of educational content on ADU. The case study method helps people learn by studying real business and managerial situations encountered by experienced executives. The reader is encouraged to analyze the case and think about how they would proceed if they were the decision-making leader involved in the situation.


Case studies have become a primary teaching tool in business schools. Students are expected to read and analyze the case before class, and the professor facilitates a discussion about it using an accompanying teaching note which outlines the concepts that the case aims to teach.


Case studies can also be a useful professional development tool for staff in the workplace. For example, in my career at UC Davis and Stanford, we have used case studies in staff meetings to think through what we would do in various situations that might arise in college athletics. We have found that case studies help our aspiring staff learn about the problems and decision-making situations that are encountered by people in leadership positions. In addition, case studies are a good opportunity for our senior staff to think about how we would handle certain situations that could arise.


The case below describes a multifaceted situation that is related to football revenue, donor relations, and the management of coaches and staff. The case is fictional, but it is an accurate representation of the kind of problems that must be solved and the decisions that must be made by athletic directors. Please read the case and consider how you would handle the situation. If you are interested in additional detail, please see the accompanying teaching note linked here for a summary of key themes that are part of this case.


Click Here to Download the Football Attendance & Revenue Case Study




AthleticDirectorU advises anyone interested in completing the case study in a group setting to avoid reading the teaching note below until instructed by their designated case group leader. If you are completing the case study in a solo setting, then you should read the teaching note after completing the critical thinking exercises presented in the case.


Click Here to Download the Teaching Note for the Football Attendance & Revenue Case Study