Graduate sport management students find international success in online simulation game 


A pair of Commonwealth University students in the graduate sport management program have ranked at the top of the leaderboard in a worldwide online simulation game, The Business Strategy Game (BSG). 

Dr. Peter Campbell’s financial management in sport graduate class competes each year in the online simulation to see which team of students can make the best financial decisions for their shoe company.

The class was divided into teams of two or three students to work as co-managers of an athletic footwear company. The company operations in the simulation are parallel to that of real footwear companies, as students compete in the global market to sell products in four geographic regions: Europe-Asia, North America, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. 

Sport management graduate students, Nicholas Madey, of Pittsburgh, and Nathaniel Murren, of Hanover, operated Company F, “Double-N-Kicks,” and landed on the top of not only the class scoreboard, but also ranked globally in the simulation. The team placed on the BSG’s global scoreboard for seven weeks of the 10-week simulation. 

During the final week of the simulation, “Double-N-Kicks” earned a global top 100 ranking in several areas of the game. The team finished the simulation with an overall score of 110.0, which tied them for the best overall score performance worldwide; their earning per share was the 14th best worldwide at $36.64; and their stock price was $990.15, sixth best worldwide.

“Our strategy from the beginning was to separate our company from others and to expect and prepare for growth in our facilities throughout the simulation,” Murren said.

By using the player’s manual that outlines the different components in the simulation game, and analyzing the reports generated each week, the team was able to determine the best approach to get ahead of their competitors. 

“We wanted to separate ourselves from every other group, so we were the main powerhouse in a particular market,” Madey said. “We started with a low number of models, but once everyone started shifting over to less models, we changed our strategy to go with the maximum number of models to separate ourselves again.

“In order to drive up our Earning Per Share (EPS), Return on Investment (ROE) and Stock Price we knew that buying back stock was super important. So, each week with the remaining funds we had, we bought back as much stock as we could to boost those numbers,” Madey added. 

The duo also shared their knowledge and tips of the game with their classmates. “Nick and Nate’s feedback in discussion posts was always helpful and gave my team new ideas on how to become more successful in the game,” said classmate Abigail Katrinak, of Strongsville, Ohio.

For more information on the sport management program at Commonwealth University and to learn about other experiential learning opportunities for students, visit or contact Peter Campbell, coordinator of the sport management program, at