University of Southern California

University of Melbourne Wins Marshall Cup
Australian Team Takes First Place in World's Largest International Case Competition
February 23, 2010 • by News at Marshall

Four undergraduates from the University of Melbourne won the 11th annual Marshall International Case Competition, which is the largest undergraduate academic contest of its kind in the world.

Students from the University of Illinois took second place, while the National University of Singapore took third. Other finalists were Manchester University (United Kingdom), Queens College (Canada) and the University of Florida.

The USC Marshall team fared well, even though they didn't make it to the final round. The members, all juniors, were Yuri Geynk, Calvin Tay, Jonathan Bjorndahl and Swati Sehgal.

Hosted by the USC Marshall School of Business, the competition, which was held February 16-20, drew 30 top-ranked schools, with 19 teams representing schools from outside the United States.

As in prior contests, this year's case was a real-world scenario, the Walt Disney Company's 2006 acquisition of Pixar Inc. The teams were given 24 hours to research Disney's investment in Pixar to find out if it made sense. Associate Professor of Clinical Management Michael Coombs wrote the case problem, which included the following questions: "Looking forward to 2020 does Disney's 2006 investment in Pixar provide a platform for Disney's continued leadership? Have the economics of the movie industry changed? Would there be any benefit to Disney in combining the two animation units at Disney given their different cultures? What future partnerships or acquisitions would expand upon the Disney/Pixar base?"

To add verisimilitude, the competition was judged by executives from The Walt Disney Company: Anne Sweeney, co-chairman Disney Media Networks and President of Disney ABC Television Group; Kevin Mayer, executive vice president Corporate Strategy, Business Development and Technology Group; and Christine McCarthy, executive vice president, Corporate Finance and Real Estate and Treasurer.

The Walt Disney Company also sponsored this year's contest, along with Altria, Southern California Edison and the USC Center for International Business Education and Research.

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.