The Chicago Blackhawks: Greatest Sports Business Turnaround Ever? Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

The Chicago Blackhawks: Greatest Sports Business Turnaround Ever?  Case solution


The sports industry is a very attractive and well performing industry of the United States of America and was constantly growing as the population of the country is addictive of sports. The annual revenue of the sports industry of the country was well above $400 billion dollars and this included all the categories such as advertisement, sponsorship, home game ticket sales, gears and accessories sales, broadcast rights, team apparels sales and all the other sub activities of the sporting clubs and companies.

The case study is about the Chicago Blackhawks, which represented the city of Chicago in the National Hockey League. It is one of the oldest and part of the six team club with whom the tournament started in the late 1920s. The team was franchised and founded by Major Fredric McLaughlin and due to frequent change of owner ships in the early days; it ended up with Arthur Wirtz. He bought the team from Bill Tobin in the early 1950s and still it remains with the family as he was the grandfather of the current owner of the team Rocky Wirtz.

The Wirtz group that owns the Chicago Blackhawks team has several other subsidiary businesses in the country that are well-established across the country and this provides the management of the team with extra leverage and monetary support in terms assistance as the group has corporate links with several businesses which can serve the team in times of need.
The Chicago hockey team of the league used to be the most popular team in the cup back in the days as they hosted several star players and high quality coaches and this made the team one of the top performers in the events. It is also the only team that has its own facilities and resources out of roughly thirty that participate in the tournament every year and this has given an added advantage to the team and players.

The team enjoyed immense crowd support in the past and the arena of the team used to houseful and sometimes over capacity breaking every other previous records due to the presence of star players and high quality coaches in the team however, this has changed over the times as the management of the team due to their unfeasible policies and strategies failed to sustain key players and coaches.

The performance of the team slumped in the seasons due to this reason and this has been the case since then and this has also affected the support of the team as crowd attendance has also slumped over the several years to roughly 62% along with the poor financial performance of the team. However, the new management and the owner of the team have vowed to revive the team and he has made several changes in the organizational structure of the team including players, coaches and management of the team.
However,the current president of the team realizes that this is not enough and he will have to make some drastic decisions and develop policies that would save the team from current crises in terms of financials and league credentials of the team to increase the popularity of the team where it once was.


The general environment of the sports industry was very attractive and promising as it was a roughly $400 billion industry and the share of the hockey and the NHA league was also a part of it however, there were several issues that hockey as a sport was facing in the country in terms of new talent and national expansion of the game.
There are several reasons for this and the most critical among all is that the game is not being played at the grass root level in schools and high schools along with other games that are facilitated at the schools in the country due to the high costs associated with the infrastructure of the game and the equipment that is required to play the game is also not affordable for everyone. Chicago Blackhawks are also suffering due to this reason and in addition to this the declining performance and public liking of the team also served as a reason.......................

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