Recent University of South Alabama graduate Jonathan Daigle, who received his master of business administration degree from the Mitchell College of Business in May, proved to be among the world’s best in a recent business simulation competition known as The Business Strategy Game Invitational.
The Business Strategy Game simulation is used at more than 600 universities in the United States and internationally and allows students to run an athletic footwear company in head-to-head competition against companies run by other class members. The invitational occurs at the end of each semester and is made up only of teams that have won the competition at their respective universities. More than 300 teams from universities around the world participated in the invitational this May.
During the invitational, Daigle and other competing teams were required to craft and execute a competitive strategy that results in a respected brand image, keeps their company in contention for global market leadership, and produces good financial performance. Daigle and his competitors made decisions in more than 50 functional and operating areas during each of the 10 rounds of the simulation. Each company typically seeks to enhance its performance and build competitive advantage via more attractive pricing, a bigger selection of footwear styles and models, more appealing footwear styling and quality, greater advertising, bigger mail-in rebates, contracting with celebrities to endorse its brand, providing more merchandising and promotional support to retailers, shorter shipping and delivery times, and more aggressive promotion of online purchases at its Web site.
Daigle competed against winners from prominent schools across the United States, Europe, and Asia. He placed first in his division of 15 competing footwear firms and finished the simulation with one of the top-10 scores achieved by all 27 division winners. He won the simulation with a strategy honed in his Mitchell MBA capstone course and keyed to strong product differentiation and low-cost operations.
The low cost of the product and the high retail value meant an “outrageous profit margin,” Daigle said. “We worked the numbers to maximize the profit.”
Daigle and his classmates finished first during the simulation in Dr. John Gamble's Strategic Management class.
Gamble, associate dean of the Mitchell College of Business, said Daigle’s success illustrates the objectives of the Mitchell MBA program.
“The coursework in the Mitchell MBA program is designed to sharpen our students’ abilities to think strategically and to weigh things from the perspective of the total enterprise operating in an increasingly global market environment,” Gamble said. “The combination of recruiting exceptional students like Jonathan and exposing them to the rigors of business and competitive analysis positions our students to perform well in a competition like The Business Strategy Game Invitational.”
Daigle received his undergraduate degree from USA in biology in 2006, an example of the diverse backgrounds among Mitchell MBA students. Gamble said the students come from a variety of fields, including medicine, law, computer science, and engineering.
“The program also helps students think rationally and logically as they go about the tasks of diagnosing the competitive moves of rival companies in the ‘real world’ and deciding how to manage their businesses here in Mobile,” Gamble said.
The University of South Alabama
Since its founding in 1963, the University of South Alabama has been one of Alabama’s fastest growing universities, currently enrolling more than 14,000 students in a wide range of academic programs in Allied Health Professions, Arts and Sciences, Mitchell College of Business, Computer and Information Sciences, Continuing Education and Special Programs, Education, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The University has awarded 62,000 degrees.
In addition to teaching and research, USA is one of the largest health care providers in the Mobile region, with its faculty physicians and two hospitals – Children’s & Women’s and USA Medical Center – involved in more than a quarter million patient encounters annually.