Applied Hockey Franchise Management (RAFM) 646

Applied Hockey Franchise Management

HCKY 646

Delivery Mode: Paced, In-Residence

Credits: 3

Prerequisites: None. For a full understanding though, RAFM-646 should be the last course taken in the Hockey electives.

Faculty: Faculty of Business

Program: Certified Hockey Professional Designation

Manager: Michael Mauws

Course Overview

In this course students are required to take the perspective of the CEO or COO of their hockey franchise. Whereas General Managers or Presidents of Hockey Operations focus on winning games and championships, CEOs and COOs must balance that objective with the other medium to long-term goals set by the board or ownership group. They do this by crafting and implementing an effective business strategy.

To craft a viable strategy and properly implement it, students will need to understand all of the functional areas of management (e.g., marketing, finance, HRM, IT). For this reason, and because it incorporates the assignments from all other HCKY electives, this should be the last course the student takes in the program.

Students will spend the final week of the course with classmates (in either Toronto or New York). During time together, they will present their strategic plans to their classmates, to faculty members, and to senior hockey executives; spend time with league, franchise, and media representatives; and will tour league and team facilities; and, most importantly, students will have numerous opportunities to interact with and get to know their peers.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • develop strategies to position a franchise favourably relative to the specific competitive forces it faces.
  • appraise the resources and capabilities of a franchise in terms of sustainable competitive advantage and identify how to strategically leverage these resources.
  • explain the concept of competitive advantage, identify its sources, and demonstrate the ability to recognize it, develop it, and leverage it in real-world scenarios.
  • analyze competitive dynamics, including competitive action and response, first-mover advantages, co-opetition, and collaboration.
  • analyze geographical expansion opportunities.
  • analyze the implications of vertical changes in the boundaries of a franchise based on the advantages of vertical integration and outsourcing, and the factors that determine the relative efficiency of each.
  • analyze the implications of horizontal changes in the boundaries of a franchise based on the conditions under which diversification creates value.
  • demonstrate critical thinking in relation to a particular hockey franchise problem, situation, or strategic decision.
  • identify and analyze the ethical challenges associated with a franchise’s strategic options.

Course Materials

Grant, R. M. (2016). Contemporary strategy analysis: Text and cases (9th ed.). Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley.

Students will be provided readings in the Digital Reading Room and cases to work on in addition to the textbook.

Course Evaluation

For the written and oral presentations of the franchise improvement plan, each group will be assigned a grade. Participation will be graded individually, giving consideration to both the quality and quantity of the individual contributions to the assignments and discussions. Results from the Peer Evaluations will be considered when assigning grades for participation as well as individual grades on the franchise improvement plan and oral presentation.

To receive a passing grade in this course, you must meet these minimum standards:

  • receive a minimum of 60% on the participation component (i.e., the Discussion application); and
  • receive an average grade of 60% over all course components.

Marks for this course will be distributed as follows:

Activity Weighting
Franchise Improvement Plan - Written Report 40%
Franchise Improvement Plan - Presentation 20%
Participation in weekly Discussions and Assignments (Modules 1–7) 40%

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.