Published 03/28/11

IB student team tops in simulation

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (March 28, 2011) — A team of Bryant juniors majoring in international business claimed the No. 1 spot overall for the week of March 21-27 in the Business Strategy Game.

The simulation game is an online exercise that places 4,558 teams from 283 colleges and universities around the world in head-to-head competition running an athletic footwear company.

The members of the top-ranked Bryant team are Rachel Boucher of Burlington, Conn., Catherine Heaphy of Lindenhurst, N.Y., Elias McQuade of Manchester, N.H., and Andres Orobitg of Puerto Rico. A second team from Bryant ranked 76th overall during the same week. Bryant's International Business program currently fields a roster of 15 teams.

The game is "very, very realistic," says Andres Ramirez, assistant professor of finance in Bryant's College of Business and one of the instructors of the top-ranked team. (The other faculty members include Lookman Bukey Folami, associate professor of accounting; Crystal Jiang, assistant professor of management; and Srdan Zdravkovic, assistant professor of marketing.)

All 4,558 teams start out on the same footing: a shoe company with equal sales volume, global market share, revenues, profits, costs, footwear quality, and so on. Each team has two manufacturing plants - one in Asia, the other in the United States. Each company has markets in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, and offers branded footwear to retailers, direct-to-consumer sales online, and private-label opportunities.

Where teams succeed or fail is in their week-to-week decisions on such topics as corporate social responsibility and citizenship, production of branded and private-label athletic footwear, plant capacity additions/sales/upgrades, worker compensation and training, shipping, pricing and marketing, celebrity endorsements, and financing of company operations. Actual current events — such as earthquakes in Japan, unstable governments in the Middle East, and foreign exchange rate variances — affect each team and its strategies. Team rankings are judged on five performance objectives: growth of earnings per share; maintaining a return on equity investment; maintaining a credit rating of B+ or better; stock price gains; and image ratings.