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Craig M. Sorochuk wrote this case under the supervision of Professor John Wilson solely to provide material for class discussion. The authors do not intend to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. The authors may have disguised certain names and other identifying information to protect confidentiality.

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Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation prohibits any form of reproduction, storage or transmission without its written permission. Reproduction of this material is not covered under authorization by any reproduction rights organization. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, contact Ivey Publishing, Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 3K7; phone (519) 661-3208; fax (519) 661-3882; e-mail


Copyright © 2011, Richard Ivey School ofBusinessFoundation                                                                            Version: 2011-10-07

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At the University of Wyoming, home games played by the men’s basketball team generated significant revenues for the Athletics Department through ticket and concession sales. With the 2009-2010 season ending, it was time to forecast revenues for the upcoming season. Even though ticket prices were already set, providing a revenue forecast was difficult, as the schedule of home games for the 2010-2011 season was unknown, and both ticket and concession sales for each game were uncertain.


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At the University of Wyoming (UW) the 2010-2011 academic year budget for the Athletics Department was approximately $23 million.1 These funds were used to cover expenses such as staff salaries, student scholarships, team travel, recruiting, equipment, game management costs, facility maintenance and other operating expenses of the various intercollegiate teams. While approximately $9 million of the budget was provided by the university, a large portion of the remaining expenses were covered by the Athletics Department itself through ticket and concession revenues generated from sporting events. Some teams, such as football, and both men’s and women’s basketball, had loyal fan bases which provided significant revenues for thedepartment.


Overseeing the financial operations of the Athletics Department was the Athletic Planning Committee (APC), which was consisted of approximately 20 members from the university community including the vice-president of administration and the controller. The APC met quarterly, with specific topics of discussion depending on the time of the year. With the 2009-2010 academic year coming to a close, the next meeting would include the discussion of projected costs and revenues associated with various intercollegiate teams.





1 All funds in U.S. dollars unless specified otherwise.




The UW Men’s Basketball team competed in the Mountain West Conference (MWC), along with teams from eight other universities. Each team in the MWC played every other team in the conference twice per year, with one game on each team’s campus. In addition, UW could host additional games against teams from other conferences, with the number of these home games ranging between eight and 10. If a tournament were hosted, UW could sell also tickets to three additional weekend games. Overall, UW usually hosted between 16 and 21 men’s basketball games per year.





As Senior Associate Director of Business Operations in the Athletics Department, Bill Sparks’ responsibilities included establishing ticket prices for the home games of the intercollegiate teams, and providing revenue forecasts based on those ticket prices. Each year Sparks presented his forecasts at APC meetings.


With the next meeting of the APC approaching, Sparks tried to estimate the revenues that the Athletics Department could expect from the men’s basketball team in the upcoming year. It was already decided a season ticket would be priced at $164, and individual game tickets would sell at $12, a mark-up of 20 per cent. At these prices, Sparks was fairly confident the number of season tickets sold would be roughly equal to the previous year. He believed the number of individual tickets sold per game would continue to depend on such factors as day of the week of the game (weekday or weekend), opponent (conference rival vs. non-conference team), and the performance of the UW team that year. Revenue projection was difficult due to the number of undetermined home games. In addition, revenues from single-game tickets and concessions were random.


Sparks reviewed data from the four most recent men’s basketball seasons (see Exhibits 1 and 2), pondering the best way to forecast total revenues for the upcoming season.



Exhibit 1



Season Number of Season Tickets Sold Win Percentage
2006 – 2007 4088 0.619
2007 – 2008 4120 0.400
2008 – 2009 3844 0.643
2009 – 2010 3819 0.323



Exhibit 2



Date ofHomeGame                         Opponent             Single Game Concession
    Tickets Sold Revenues
Saturday, November 04, 2006 Non-Conference 1704 $3,158.40
Tuesday, November 07, 2006 Non-Conference 716 $1,838.75
Saturday, November 11, 2006 Non-Conference 1218 $5,767.53
Wednesday, November 15, 2006 Non-Conference 1083 $4,116.60
Saturday, November 18, 2006 Non-Conference 1755 $5,246.31
Wednesday, November 29, 2006 Non-Conference 909 $2,582.50
Wednesday, December 06, 2006 Non-Conference 1107 $3,687.35
Saturday, December 16, 2006 Non-Conference 909 $4,766.02
Wednesday, January 10, 2007 Conference 2581 $4,775.50
Saturday, January 13, 2007 Conference 3694 $8,222.27
Wednesday, January 24, 2007 Conference 3462 $8,651.67
Saturday, January 27, 2007 Conference 2474 $8,907.81
Tuesday, February 06, 2007 Conference 1879 $5,289.60
Saturday, February 17, 2007 Conference 2778 $7,365.01
Wednesday, February 21, 2007 Conference 1297 $5,214.18
Saturday, March 03, 2007 Conference 2380 $6,487.08
Saturday, November 03, 2007 Non-Conference 995 $3,200.62
Tuesday, November 06, 2007 Non-Conference 717 $2,329.95
Saturday, November 10, 2007 Non-Conference 1266 $3,424.17
Monday, November 26, 2007 Non-Conference 1615 $2,714.35
Saturday, December 08, 2007 Non-Conference 1469 $3,392.11
Saturday, December 29, 2007 Non-Conference 1033 $3,131.53
Monday, December 31, 2007 Non-Conference 688 $1,509.28
Saturday, January 05, 2008 Conference 941 $3,180.81
Wednesday, January 16, 2008 Conference 1095 $2,847.82
Saturday, January 26, 2008 Conference 1894 $5,050.42
Saturday, February 02, 2008 Conference 1853 $5,597.73
Wednesday, February 06, 2008 Non-Conference 660 $1,615.64
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 Conference 601 $1,961.13
Tuesday, February 19, 2008 Conference 757 $2,490.31
Saturday, February 23, 2008 Conference 1411 $4,283.53
Saturday, March 01, 2008 Conference 1664 $4,857.05
Friday, November 07, 2008 Non-Conference 941 $2,101.67



Exhibit 2 (continued)



Friday, November 14, 2008 Non-Conference 839 $2,383.71
Wednesday, November 19, 2008 Non-Conference 3084 $2,713.87
Saturday, November 22, 2008 Non-Conference 1559 $3,143.83
Wednesday, November 26, 2008 Non-Conference 593 $2,642.14
Saturday, November 29, 2008 Non-Conference 937 $3,717.70
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 Non-Conference 522 $1,838.49
Saturday, December 20, 2008 Non-Conference 635 $4,082.60
Wednesday, January 14, 2009 Conference 1723 $4,968.37
Saturday, January 24, 2009 Conference 3172 $6,878.54
Tuesday, January 27, 2009 Conference 987 $2,099.78
Saturday, February 07, 2009 Conference 1995 $5,658.42
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 Conference 855 $2,374.29
Saturday, February 21, 2009 Conference 1953 $5,673.95
Wednesday, March 04, 2009 Conference 2235 $6,261.72
Saturday, March 07, 2009 Conference 2972 $7,623.75
Saturday, November 07, 2009 Non-Conference 2273 $3,503.78
Friday, November 13, 2009 Non-Conference 1534 $2,879.42
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 Non-Conference 729 $1,958.48
Saturday, November 21, 2009 Non-Conference 1483 $3,203.87
*Friday, November 27, 2009 Non-Conference 742 $2,355.42
*Saturday, November 28, 2009 Non-Conference 652 $1,759.35
*Sunday, November 29, 2009 Non-Conference 488 $1,521.30
Saturday, December 05, 2009 Non-Conference 2446 $2,057.57
Sunday, December 20, 2009 Non-Conference 515 $3,732.54
Wednesday, December 30, 2009 Non-Conference 599 $2,200.72
Saturday, January 02, 2010 Non-Conference 652 $2,525.92
Wednesday, January 06, 2010 Conference 583 $2,064.41
Saturday, January 09, 2010 Conference 1012 $3,744.89
Saturday, January 16, 2010 Conference 2327 $6,715.82
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 Conference 1009 $2,729.87
Wednesday, February 03, 2010 Conference 897 $2,035.50
Saturday, February 13, 2010 Conference 1519 $4,558.25
Saturday, February 20, 2010 Conference 1335 $2,428.80
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 Conference 707 $1,624.36


*Indicates tournament game.







Felipe Rodrigues wrote this case solely under supervision of Professor Rasha Kashef to provide material for class discussion. The authors do not intend to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. The authors may have disguised certain names and other identifying information to protect confidentiality.


This publication may not be transmitted, photocopied, digitized, or otherwise reproduced in any form or by any means without the permission of the copyright holder. Reproduction of this material is not covered under authorization by any reproduction rights organization. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, contact Ivey Publishing, Ivey Business School, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada, N6G 0N1; (t) 519.661.3208; (e);


Copyright  ©  2017, Richard Ivey School ofBusinessFoundation                                                                          Version:2017-08-17


HenryRogers wasagraduatestudentinmanagementscience,researchingprocessimprovementsinpatient flows. Every day, on his way to his office, he walked by the university community centre, where he often stoppedforacupofcoffeeortogetamealfromthecafeteria.Oneparticularcoldwintermorning,latefor a meeting, he hurriedly passed the cafeteria and noticed a sign that said, “Blood Donor Clinic Today from 11:00a.m.to4:00p.m.Donatebloodtoday.Givelife!Room2104.”Rogersrealizedthatithadbeenayear since he had last donated blood. If only he had known that the university hosted blood donor clinics, it would have saved him a lot of time and effort. The last time he had donated, he had to take two busses to reach the blood donor clinic, way beyond downtown. “This will be very convenient,” he thought. “I’ll go there after mymeeting.”


After meeting his advisor and deciding on his defence proposal date (less than two months away), Rogers had a lot in his plate. He rushed back to the office, when he noticed that it was almost 11:00 a.m. “The clinic will open soon,” he thought. He briskly walked the few blocks that separated his office from the community centre. Once he got there, he was surprised. The clinic was not open, and there was already a significant queue forming. His immediate thought was that the organization that managed blood donations inthecityhadfoundajackpot.“Thesekidsarehealthyandsociallyengaged;theyshouldputupshophere every day.” As a researcher of patient flows in hospitals, Rogers had queuing theory in his veins, and this intrigued him. When the clinic opened, he looked inside and noticed that only eight people could donate blood at the same time. Looking at the line forming outside, he figured he might as well go to the printing room to print some journal articles to include in his dissertation before joining the queue. He thought that aftertheinitialbuildup,thelineandwaittimewouldbeshorter.“I’llneedallthetimeIcanspareifI’mto defend by earlyMay.”


WhenRogersreturnedtothebloodclinic,hecouldseethattheywererunningthelittlemobileclinicatfull speed. There were students everywhere. He reached the help station, and the nurse asked him kindly, “Haveyoudonatedbloodbefore?”“Yes,ma’am.I’vedonatedquiteafewtimes,”hesaidproudly.“Great. Please let me see your donor card,” the nursereplied.




“I’m sorry ma’am. I don’t have it with me.” Rogers recalled that he had done some decluttering in his wallet; he must have put the donor card in the drawer with other cards he’d decided he did not need to carry around all the time.


The help-station nurse kept her cool and asked for his driver’s license. “I don’t seem to find you in our system, sir. Are you sure you’ve donated blood with us?” Rogers knew this was going to happen, and he had a ready response. “I’m sorry ma’am; I have two last names. If you look for ‘Rogers,’ you will find me.” Sure enough, she did. “Aha! Here you are,” she said. Rogers could not help but notice that more people were arriving and he was contributing to an increase in the waiting line; years of queuing research hadmadehimapprehensiveaboutthatparticularfact.“Okay,Mr.Rogers.Pleasehaveaseatandwaittobe called to the questionnaire kiosk,” said thenurse.


Rogers thought that donating blood was beginning to feel like a queuing system; noticing the wait line, he decided to investigate a little further. “Excuse me, nurse,” he said, “If you don’t mind me asking, how many people arrive to the clinic every day?” Surprised, the nurse replied, “Usually, when we open, there are already 5–10 people at the door. On a busy day, about 25–30 people per hour.”


Rogers waited until the nurse had registered another donor to ask more questions. He noticed that the student had his card and spent maybe one minute at the help station. “How long does it take for you to register a donor?” She guessed, and with a grin, replied, “Maybe about two minutes, give or take. Returning donors with their cards take barely a minute; first-timers take 5–10 minutes; people who forget their donor cards or whose names we have trouble finding also take around five minutes.” He sensed this was his cue to stop asking questions of the nurse. She was very busy, and he was taking too much of her time.


Almost immediately, another nurse came along and called his name. She explained to him that he had to fill in a questionnaire in one of the three kiosks. To his surprise, each kiosk had a tablet, and the whole procedure had been transferred online. It took another 10 minutes for him to fill in the questionnaire. He thoughtthequestionshadseemedmorecomprehensivethanusual,buttheonlineformshelpedtospeedup the process. When he was done and had confirmed his answers, the same nurse came and directed him to another waitingarea.


“You will wait here to be called by another nurse, who will proceed with your health screening,” she said politely. Rogers took the opportunity to ask her one question. “Excuse me, again. I noticed that the questionnaire is longer. How long are people taking to answer it?” She gave it some thought and replied, “I’ve been doing this a long time. I know it is between five-and-a-half and six minutes. I measured it myself. Though people who have travelled a lot or who come from other countries take more than that because we have to screen for different diseases that occur in Europe and in tropical areas.” Rogers knew what had taken him so long: a recent trip to South America might have triggered a host of questions that would not show up for people who had not been to that part of the world.


After he had waited a few minutes, another nurse came and called him to her cubicle. She introduced herselfandexplainedtohimthatshewouldlookforsignsofintravenoususeandwouldmeasurehisblood pressure, temperature, and heart rate. Rogers took the time to ask her how many screening cubicles they had; she said there were six screening cubicles, with one nurse in each. Before starting her procedure, she tookalargebinderandopenedittoapagethatcontainedadetailedmapofSouthAmerica.


“Where did you say you were again?” she asked.

Rogers replied, “I recently visited my folks down in southern Brazil.” She seemed a little lost in the map, so Rogers helped her by pointing to the exact location. It was in a green area of the continent. Most of the equatorial part of the map was marked in red.


The nurse said, “That is okay. If you had gone to this red area over here, we couldn’t take your blood due to the risk of malaria.”


Rogers replied, “I’m aware. Every time I donate blood, I have to explain this. Maybe you should add that to your files so we could save some time in the process.” She disagreed with his suggestion and explained that recent travels and other events could change his answers to the questionnaire, and that they had to be extra careful every single time. “We are better off spending a few minutes here rather than risking getting someone sick later on.” Rogers nodded embarrassedly. “How long does the screening usually take?” he asked.Thenursereplied,“Usually10–12minutes,butitcantakeupto30minutesincaseswherewehave to dig deeper into the questionnaire or where we might have to take more blood samples or measure the temperature or blood pressure more thanonce.”


Afterthescreeningwasdone,Rogerswastakentoyetanotherwaitingarea.Nowhewasabitworriedthat his blood pressure might be a little too high. “It must be pre-proposal defence stress,” he thought. There were many students waiting, and Rogers could see there was a total of eight pods where the blood  donations were taken. Some students were donating blood, others were just waiting for a nurse to give them permission to stand up and leave, others were waiting for the donation to start, and one student seemed to have fainted, drawing attention from the whole crew. To Rogers’s surprise, the fainted student seemedtobearatherbigathlete.“AllIhavetodoislookawayfromtheneedle,”hethought,remembering whenhe,himself,hadfaintedafterseeingtheneedlebeingdrawnoutofhis arm.


After Rogers had waited for some time, a nurse came to direct him to his donation station. The nurse was friendly and efficient, and Rogers took the time to get more information from her.


“How often do people faint?” he asked the nurse.

“Every once in a while,” she said. “Some people don’t take needles too well, others feel the drop in blood volume, and some are very thin and need time to recover.” As she was saying this, Rogers felt the needle and realized he had made a bigger deal of the process than it really was.


The nurse proceeded: “We want to make sure people are okay, so we usually let them sit at least five minutes after we finish collecting the blood.”


“What would be the average donation time?” he asked.


“Ifallgoeswell,14–15minutes,”shesaid.“Wecollectthebloodandletthedonorrestforabit.However, some people faint; with others, we have a harder time picking a good blood vessel. On occasion, the blood flow is interrupted and we have to draw blood from another vessel in the other arm. On rare occasions, donors stay here up to 30 minutes,tops.”


Rogers thought that they had the system pretty well mapped out, but it seemed that there was too much variance in the system, and it was bound to have peaks of congestion. Before he knew it, his blood had been collected. He was cordially led to the refreshment area, where 10 students were indulgingthemselves with cookies and juice boxes. Rogers decided to join them in the sugary bonanza. He noticed that the young athlete, now fully recovered, seemed to have an unusual appetite for vanilla chocolate chipcookies


andapplejuice.Rogersthoughthemust havehad10cookiesbynow.Rogersdecidedtostayaslongasthe youngmandid,andhegaugedthatanother5–10minutesatthatstationwouldbeenough.


As Rogers was about to leave, he approached the young athlete and said, “Excuse me, dude. Make sure youfollowtherecommendationanddon’texercisetoday.”Tothis,theathletereplied,“Thanks,oldman.” Rogers left, feeling old, stressed, and newly aware of his hypertension. He thought that maybe the donor flow in the blood clinic might need some improvement. After all, he had spent about one-and-a-half hours there.Healsothoughthecouldeasilymakesomeassumptions,useaveragesormodeswhenavailable,and simulate the mobile blood donor clinic to try out some new ideas. He thought that a person donatingblood shouldnotspend morethan45minutesthereandshouldnotwaitmorethanfiveminutesateachstepinthe system.

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