Experiential Learning in Action: From Classroom to Real World Application

Posted on July 7, 2020 by USA Mitchell College of Business
USA Mitchell College of Business

During the summer of 2019, a group of Mitchell College of Business PhD students (Adam Merkle, Catherine Hessick, Britton Leggett, Larry Goehrig and Kenneth O'Connor) became interested in studying the potential reasons for widespread attendance declines in Major League Baseball. To do so, they applied their newly acquired research skills learned in their PhD classes that included advanced statistical methods to analyze complex data patterns. The information they gathered stretched across 8 years and came from numerous sources including MLB stats on team performance, census data, game attendance, Nielsen TV viewership reports, Twitter accounts, gate sales, and various measures of team valuation. Based on theories about brand management, the student research team organized the data to reflect how MLB team brand equity is changing. They concluded the attendance decline is related to specific underlying changes in the marketplace for fan viewership.
Their research began in August of '19 and progressed quickly. By November, they submitted an original article to an academic journal. After many months (and several revisions), they learned the journal had agreed to publish their results. Members of the research team explained, "We wanted to take everything we were learning and try to develop something new . . . something fun and different. We called it the fun paper." Their research and findings are slated for publication in the Journal of Marketing Analytics later this year.


Learn more about the Mitchell College of Business PhD in Business Administration.

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