Northwestern business students tie for first place in simulation

Four Northwestern College seniors recently recorded a top score in the international Business Strategy Game, a dynamic online simulation in which participants are assigned the task of running an athletic footwear company.

Northwestern students competing in the Business Strategy Game consistently record high scores, often in the top 5% of all teams. One Northwestern team, named “Apollo Footwear Company,” recorded a perfect score of 110 points and tied for the best overall score during the week of April 12–18. During that week, which was the final week Northwestern teams competed for the semester, there were thousands of teams competing worldwide.

Apollo Footwear Company team members included Nick Bomgaars, a business administration/finance major from Sheldon, Iowa; Bradley Bourland, a sport management/leadership major from Omaha, Nebraska; Makenzie Fink, a business administration major from Lanark, Illinois; and Peyton Scott, a business administration/finance major from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The students competed in the simulation as part of their business capstone course, Strategic and Ethical Management, taught by Douglas Anderson, professor of practice in business and economics. “The Business Strategy Game gives our students the opportunity to take what they’ve learned and put it into practice,” says Anderson.

“All aspects of the Business Strategy Game parallel the functioning of the real-world athletic footwear market,” notes the simulation’s website, adding that this allows participants to “think rationally and logically in deciding what to do and get valuable practice in making a variety of different business decisions under circumstances that mirror real-world competitive conditions.”

Each week, every team, referred to as a “company” in the simulation, is evaluated on a balanced scorecard that includes brand image, earnings per share, return on equity investment, stock price appreciation and credit rating.

“Teams make decisions about marketing, sales, production, supply chain, operations, human resources and more,” says Anderson. “They need to keep their customers, employees and communities happy. It’s a tough—but important—balancing act. Nick, Bradley, Makenzie and Peyton were successful because they challenged each other in their decision-making, recognized each other’s strengths and worked together as a team.”