National Sports Forum Case Competition: FC Dallas MLS Team

February, 2014

Download full presentation here.

Presentation Design: Christopher Aumueller

Presentation Concept by Emma Dickinson, Christopher Aumueller, Oscar del Castillo, & Brett Sapp

In the second year of my MBA I was selected to captain our case competition team at the National Sports Forum in Dallas.  As part of the competition, teams from 14 universities were challenged with a sales and marketing issue the local Major League Soccer team, FC Dallas, was experiencing.  The team was having great success with their season ticket sales, yet their single game ticket sales were stagnant.  FC Dallas marketing executives asked us to come up with a plan to improve ticket sales on a game to game basis.

With my influence, our team discovered that the greater issue was a brand perception problem and proposed a two part plan that won first prize and earned the University of Nebraska the title of National Case Cup Champions.  Judges noted that our plan was immediately actionable, and that they would “hire us.”


In analyzing data provided to our team by FC Dallas, we discovered that Dallas locals were under the impression that the stadium was too far, and thus weren’t receiving the value from the game in return for the their perceived effort to get there. However, the stadium was only 15 minutes from downtown Dallas, while the Cowboys football stadium was an hour.  So we devised our two-part plan to address this issue.

First, we identified games where the team would struggle most to get a sell out.  Why focus on big games against rivals or well-known players that were already a guaranteed sell out? The games that would be tough sell to begin with we more important to improve ticket sales overall.  Thus, we implemented a game-by-game event program, coming up with individual events for each of the identified games that targeted a specific segment of FC Dallas’ target audience.  Additionally, we enlisted their loyal fan groups to activate more fans through a season long competition.

The second part of our plan included a marketing blitz promoting the message “Your team is nearby, Dallas ’til we die,” and noting that if soccer players can run 8 miles in a game, fans can drive that distance to get there.

With our plan, we estimated that the objective of a 4,000 ticket increase in sales would be met by mid-season,  with a ROI of over 100%.


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