First Pitch Case Competition

Applications and information regarding the SSAC2016 First Pitch Case Competition will be released in early fall 2015. Check back frequently for updates.


First Pitch is a sports business case competition for top graduate students around the globe who are attending the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. The competition fosters cutting edge thought leadership designed to address the sports industry’s most challenging issues, and provides a networking and educational platform for graduate students with sports career aspirations. In case teams of three, participants are tasked with analyzing and suggesting solutions for a challenging sports business issue.


The 2015 conference featured the fifth annual First Pitch Graduate Sports Business Case Competition. The competition was sponsored by Zebra Technologies and provided students a forum to analyze and suggest solutions for a challenging business issue. In 2015, 23 teams from top global graduate programs participated. The three finalist teams presented at the conference on Saturday, February 28th.


In 2014, Zebra Technology Corporation launched “MotionWorks,” a real-time player tracking system that uses patented RFID technology. The NFL selected Zebra’s MotionWorks system to integrate league-wide to enhance an important segment of its business previously limited to after-the-fact data and to form an integral component of a sweeping effort to introduce “Next Generation Statistics” (NGS). Beginning with the 2014 NFL season, all players wear Zebra tracking chips that provide never-before available data from game day. Zebra’s real-time technology has innumerable applications that can enable real-time insights to drive coaching and player evaluation decisions and real-time entertainment value for fans. Zebra is interested in understanding how its tools and the NGS platform can be monetized off the field and to recast the consumer experience including how fans consume sports across multiple media such as in-stadium, digital, fantasy, mobile and the gaming application space.

2015 Finalists

• 1st Place: Harvard Business School (Daniel Adler, Ali Habib, Matt Quinn)

• 2nd Place: The Wharton School (Vikram Arumilli, Michela DeSantis, Kit Neuman)

• 3rd Place: Tuck School of Business (Jeffrey Clark, Adam Klene, Fan Zhou)

2015 First Pitch Case Competition Winners – Harvard Business School – Daniel Adler, Ali Habib, Matt Quinn