The University of Michigan Sport Management program announced the three finalists in its inaugural Sporting Event Bid Competition (SEBC) today (May 1, 2017).
Teams of four, comprising at least two undergraduate students and up to two graduate students, were invited prepare a bid for a city of their choosing to host the (fictional) 2028 "Global Games." The goal: to generate and share new ideas about how event organizers, host cities, sport institutions, and other stakeholders can collaborate to deliver major sporting events.
"Staging these large events poses problems that often seem insurmountable," says SEBC founder and judge Dr. Stefan Szymanski, the Stephen J. Galetti Professor of Sport Management at the University of Michigan. "In tackling these problems, our student teams have shown that it is possible to find imaginative ways to meet the challenge."
SEBC judge Lauren Pober, Director of Marketing for FOX Sports Detroit, thinks that a challenging experiential learning project is an added value to the traditional classroom curriculum. "A competition like this is a tremendous opportunity for students to get a comprehensive look into what it truly takes to stage a global sporting event," she says.
Sixteen bids from colleges and universities across the United States and Canada were submitted for the competition. A panel of five judges reviewed the bids and selected the finalists, which include:
The SEBC judges were impressed by the quality of the entries. "I think each [of the finalists] brings a level of creativity and feasibility when it comes to the cities they selected to host the 'Global Games,'" says SEBC judge Jeff Porter, Chair of the Athletes Advisory Committee for US Track & Field and Independent Director for US Taekwondo.
SEBC judge Bill Martin, US Olympic Committee board member and founder of First Martin Corp., agrees. "It's clear that all the students who submitted bids worked really hard on the competition," he says. "The excellence of their work - and of the finalists' work in particular - speaks volumes about the level of talent that's about to enter the sport industry."
The three finalists will present their vision at the University of Michigan on Friday, September 8, 2017. The winning team will receive a $5,000 cash prize.