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Team Game Theory captured the $10,000 prize at the 2010 Channel Reinvention Case Competition. Pictured from left: Lecturer of Marketing Richard Wilson; Team Game Theory members Sarah Clabby, Daniel Stern, Edward Lin and Shaina Morphew, all '10; and President Steve Eastman.

Team Game Theory

Right on target

Second-year Kellogg students take the top prize at the Target Channel Reinvention Case Competition, developing a growth plan for the retailer’s video game market

By Amy Trang

2/24/2010 - It was a test of skill, teamwork — and sleep deprivation — for students participating in the 2010 Channel Reinvention Case Competition.

Five teams of Kellogg Full-Time and Part-Time students had just one week to develop a marketing and growth strategy for retailer Target’s online and offline video game marketplace, focusing on moms as a key demographic.

The long hours paid off, with Team Game Theory coming out on top Feb. 17, winning the $10,000 first prize in the second annual contest.

Team DARAD took the $4,000 second place prize, followed by Team Marketing Heroes, who were awarded $1,000 for third place.

More than 100 Full-Time and Part-Time students on 21 teams vied to compete in the competition. Case organizer and Marketing Lecturer Richard Wilson narrowed the field to five teams, each of whom made a 20-minute presentation to a judging panel that included two Target executives and three Kellogg marketing professors.

Team Game Theory developed a plan that featured a “surrogate mom” platform that would provide key information to the shopper, including recommendations and shopping history. The team, comprised of Sarah Clabby ’10, Edward Lin ’10, Shaina Morphew ’10 and Daniel Stern ’10, said their varied backgrounds — which encompass consulting, finance and sports business — complemented each other. However, the diversity of views also led the teammates to ask each other hard questions and push back on one another’s ideas.

“We really had to challenge each other, but at the same time, really listen to each other,” Clabby said. “This experiential learning opportunity combined everything we love about marketing and strategy and integrated what we’ve learned in the classroom.”

Steve Eastman, president of, said each team had provocative ideas and unique approaches that he will share with his teams at Target.

“What we like about Kellogg is that it has a similar cultural fit to Target’s culture,” Eastman said. “The collaboration, the teamwork, the thought process — they all came through in these presentations. We saw these Kellogg teams take a similar approach that we take at Target to addressing these problems.”

Wilson, who also co-wrote the case used in the competition, said these competitions give students a chance to synthesize what they are learning in the classroom and incorporate those lessons into solutions to problems that companies are facing in real time.

“The teams worked effectively together and represented themselves and the school in a level of learning that we can be proud of,” Wilson said.