The Atlantic Coast Conference and Florida State University: The Economics of College Athletics

Bradley W. Brooks, Queens University of Charlotte Steven M. Cox, Queens University of Charlotte Zachary M. White, Queens University of Charlotte Timothy E. Burson, Queens University of Charlotte
June 1, 2014
North America
Marketing & Sales
7 pages
publicity, Rumor, sports
Average rating: 

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) faced a crisis. Routinely known as one of the best basketball conferences in the nation, the ACC faced the possibility that one of its premier football members, Florida State University, would leave the conference for the Big 12. The reason was ostensibly because of the ACC’s less lucrative TV contracts and weaker football programs. John Swofford, Commissioner of the ACC was caught off guard and needed to react to this possibility. The fear on the part of the ACC commissioner was that the league would not be as competitive in football and that several other schools might choose to move if FSU made the decision to leave. This decision case asks what the ACC commissioner should do and explores the reasons for FSU’s contemplation of a move.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Evaluate remediation strategies for adverse publicity and determine a course of action.
  2. Develop a scorecard of positive and negative stakeholder reactions to the decisions made by an organization.
  3. Identify the elements of brand equity and relate these elements to the conferences and university athletic programs.

Application: The case is appropriate for undergraduate courses in marketing and communications including Principles of Marketing, Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, and Promotion.