Cycle for Survival Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Cycle for Survival Case Study Solution


The case illustrates the deadlock Katie Kotkins, director of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Care (MSKCC), is currently facing ,due to the death of the prior founder and director of the MSKCC, from Sacora cancer, a rare type of cancer .Jen (the prior founder) of the foundation, established Cycle for Survival: a search and patient care house that treats rare types of cancer .Jen started the campaign as a victim of one of these rare kinds of cancer, and adopted the activity of cycling to keep her fit and live long .She incorporated her belief into doing something big. Jen and her husband David worked alongside for the cause.The foundation received tremendous feedback and donations which outnumbered the expected number of profits. The foundation, under the supervision of Jen and David, worked on different marketing and operational strategies to make the cause have a big impact on society. In doing so, MKSCC joined hands with Equinox, to lay the foundation of “cycle for survival” a fun d raising program. In 2011, Jen left MSKCC, due to her illness and the new director has to come up with a marketing strategy that could keep the momentum and pace of the moment alive. Also ,a decision has to be made, whether to continue cycling as the core activity for fundraising or should other activities like swimming and running shall be included.


Cycle for Survival is a fundraising program, which conducts research and offers care to patients who face certain rare types of cancers, for which the treatment and medication has not been discovered yet.The foundation was founded by Jen, who herself had been a victim of a rare type of cancer. She took the initiative to serve other patient sand do something for her county, so they may not face the same issues that she had to.

Jen with her husband David, joined hands with MTSCC, a patient care unit, where she received her treatment, impressed by the performance and service of the unit, she took steps to join the care unit and started the Movement. She also created joint alliances with Equinox, a health-oriented fitness center to join her movement. In doing so, Jen and David worked specifically on marketing and created multiple fields within the movement to attract a maximum number of donors.

In the initial years, the donors were nearly all those who supported the remission of Jen, which eventually turned out to be popular among those who supported the cause and what the movement stood for. The campaign started in 2007,under Jen’s leadership.

Jen has been an outstanding leader and focused on making the campaign sustainable and worthy enough to serve the purpose. In doing so, she continually marketed and interacted with different player sand also the victims to reduce different type of rare cancers and developed reaserch survey for them. In 2011, Jen left the company with the memories of her outstanding leadership, motivational skills, which gathered the attention of many donor markets.

Kathie, the new director of the MKSCC, now has to devise a new strategic marketing plan, to carry the value of the Cycle for Survival movement along with meeting the new challenges which have arisen due to the absence of Jen.

Problem Identification

There is a certain problem that the management of the MKSCC, has to face under the absence of the leadership of Jen in designing and framing the sustain ability strategy for Cycle for Survival.

Cycle for Survival Harvard Case Solution & Analysis



  • Since Jen have been a single “center of attention” for all fundraisers, her personality, leadership can not be escaped, hence created a bottleneck for Katie to keep the momentum, and also to keep the reales sence and brand image of the Movement sustainable.
  • The MKSCC, obtained the attention of many donors and hence lead to the expansion Under such circumstances, it is difficult for Katie to decide, who to plan as a brand ambassador of “Cycle of survival” who could meet the criteria and perception of the donor and the other victims like Jen has set.
  • The management has to decide whether to pursue the same strategy of driving motivation in the movement by branding it with the approach of using a victim, like Jen, or another marketing strategy should be used to keep Jen alive in functions and operations while meeting the new challenges of the market.
  • Since, Jen had driven great emotional association of the patient, donors and professionals, every next move that has to be taken need to be well-supported with right evidence otherwise it may lead to great critique and might hurt the feelings of many players. The situation has created a deadlock, in deciding whether to take the cycling is core activity as the movement is named after it, or shall it include other activities like running and swimming as well..............

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