Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

The Utah Summer Games Marketing Research project.(Instructor's Note)

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

The Utah Summer Games Marketing Research project.(Instructor's Note)

Article excerpt


The primary subject matter of this case concerns the development, implementation, and analysis of a real market research project. Secondary issues examined include the link between research objectives and questionnaire development, sampling and non-sampling error, and practical problems and issues that affect marketing research projects. The case has a difficulty level of four. The case is designed to be taught in one to two class hours, and is expected to require 2 to 3 hours of outside preparation by students.


In 2004 the new director of the Utah Summer Games, an athletic event modeled after the Olympics that draws almost 7500 athletes, is concerned about the lack of any data other than anecdotes and annual registrations. No one was sure how satisfied athletes and their families are with the athletic events, the opening and closing ceremonies, and the products, services and environment of Cedar City. They also do not know how people learn about the events. The case depicts the planning, implementation, and some results of a marketing research project developed to measure satisfaction levels regarding the community and the opening ceremonies, and to assess what other activities participants do in conjunction with the games. Manageable in scope, the case illustrates marketing research steps, has some shortcomings for students to identify, and has enough results to permit them to reach some tentative conclusions. The case is simple enough to be used in a marketing principles course. Its value is probably greatest in a marketing research course, where it can also be used as an illustrative project in the beginning, and referred to throughout the course as sampling and non-sampling error, questionnaire development, and data analysis topics arise. It could also be used as a model for semester-long student projects.



This case can be used to illustrate the steps involved in a typical marketing research project. The basic steps as presented in any marketing principles or marketing research text should be evident in this case. As such, it can be used in a basic marketing principles class, or in the introductory portion of a marketing research course. Further, the decisions made at each step of the process can be discussed and critiqued.

A nice feature of this case is that simple frequency distributions are sufficient to meet the research objectives as presented in the case. Students with a little more training in statistics can use data to generate confidence interval estimates and to test hypotheses regarding the equality of means. In a marketing research class the instructor can refer to the case during the latter part of the class to illustrate data analysis techniques.


1. What other specific research objectives could have been pursued? Why do you think they weren't chosen?

The intent of this question is to get students to generate research questions that could have been chosen. There are really a very large number of possibilities, but some specific ones mentioned in the case are as follows:

a. Given that the whole reason for sponsoring the games was to increase enrollment at Southern Utah University (SUU), an obvious objective would be to assess the impact of the Utah Summer Games (USG) on SUU enrollment. The tough part is to figure out a way to measure this. Clearly, administering a questionnaire to USG participants or to SUU students would not be enough. If students bring this up discussing possible ways of measuring the impact can be treated, but designing such research goes beyond the scope of this particular case. A reason for not pursuing such a study is that USG officials are not responsible for SUU enrollments.

b. Determine how, where, and when participants learn about the Utah Summer Games. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.