To kick off our third week here at ESADE in sunny Barcelona, we had the opportunity to take part in something new for some, and familiar to others: a case competition. Unlike most, this competition would take place just within the program, and the prize, aside from the learning that would come from it, would mainly be pride. ESADE’s Career Services office organized the competition separate from our classes for a chance to network with the Adidas judges; indeed, one of the most exciting parts was that two Adidas employees would judge the case. Both Lillian Bautista (Director of Strategy, London office) and Alex Gash are ESADE Alumni who took part in the Consulting Club while at ESADE (Lillian even got the job at Adidas by winning a similar case competition years before).
The case assigned was simple: How can Adidas get people moving? How can Adidas, a sports and lifestyle brand, inspire people to move? This wasn’t so much a business question as a philanthropic one. It was left up to us to decide what would be the best way to do this (hint: we all proposed apps). We were allowed to form our own groups of about 7 people and solve the problem. Over the next few days, each team put their heads together to put together ideas into decks to present to the Adidas judges.
In the end, our team was selected as the winner. Our idea focused on a scalable campaign (run through an app) that would be a competition between students in New York City. Over the course of the month, students’ phones would track their steps and active time and put it towards their schools’ totals. But the competition didn’t stop with students- we proposed that students could also sign up everyone from their family members to their mailman to help contribute to their schools’ step count. At the end of the month, the winning school would get to take part in a field day where students could get to play (and, let’s be honest, take selfies) with pro athletes sponsored by Adidas.
What made our idea unique was not that it was an app, but that it served to pull together Adidas strengths, while also seeking to pull people together. The app doesn’t discriminate against who can sign up; instead, anyone who is looking to compete alongside their community can do so. Not only that, but the concept is as scalable worldwide as the Adidas brand itself, and that I think is what made our idea stand out.
Though the case competition was unexpected, it turned out to be a great way to build further relationships with people in the program. After doing projects with these people for an entire school year, it was amazing to see how fast we could come together as a new team to form an idea and then decide on how to play to each other’s strengths to execute it. It feels like the semester is just getting started, but we know that this crazy year is going to be over in no time.
Connor Pittman joins the MSGC program after graduating from Texas A&M with a BBA in Marketing from the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2016.