By Damon Markiewicz

A team of Springfield College Business Management students was one of the top-ranked groups during the annual case-study competition of the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). The event included teams representing five separate countries, and the format encouraged students to create a marketing strategy for the Italian non-fungible token (NFT) project as a guide to break into the United States market. For students Sage Bray, Hale Thomas, Benjamin Arnold, and Tyler Maider, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that enhanced their academic experience at Springfield College.

“Springfield College has a hands-on approach to learning through group work, and class discussions allowed us to feel comfortable in the competition, as we dove into researching these new emerging topics,” said Bray, who was the team captain. “For me, the best part was being able to work on a case that had so much of my interest. Building the comprehensive go-to market strategy was a fantastic experience, and having to look at it from all different angles to make sure we explained every step thoroughly was eye-opening.”

The competition required students to work as members of a team, collect and analyze data, and effectively present case information and answer questions in a clear, concise, and professional manner.

Supported by Springfield College Associate Professor of Marketing Michael Musante, and Business Management Department Chair Mark Suazo, the team of students had to identify and explain the relevant background information of the case, which included relevant legal, financial, economic, marketing, and management strategies.

“What was so gratifying about the students’ success in this competition was the fact that our program went up against some of the most respected business management programs in the country, and our students’ success validated how strong and successful our program is at Springfield College,” said Suazo. “Competing against more than 40 schools throughout the world, and being able to place as high as they did, it’s very gratifying for our department.”

During their case presentation, the students were able to utilize their class lectures on marketing concepts, and combine that experience with experiential learning opportunities they gained from internships and volunteer work.

“Working with Sage, Ben, and Tyler on this project was unique and exciting,” said Thomas. “We were proud to represent Springfield College, and my education in business stressed the importance of creative problem solving. Our team did just that. We put our heads together and enjoyed one of the most creative and collaborative educational experiences in my four years at Springfield College.”

The participating students also represented a cross-collaboration between the business management program and sport management program. The combination of the two academic concentrations provided the group with the necessary knowledge to secure their high ranking in the competition.

“Both the sport management and business departments have granted me the necessary tools to work effectively with a team,” said Arnold. “The amount of time that we spent as a group working on ideas was clearly a strong suit of ours. Being able to hear four different perspectives and utilize the strengths of each is why our proposal was so successful. I couldn’t be any happier with the effort and comradery that our team displayed. This experience is one that has truly bettered us as young professionals.”