Assignment: make a toehold in the shoe business

The successful launch, branding, and marketing of a new training shoe into the GTA market was the focus of a case study competition this week.
 
On Monday, May 15, the brightest business minds from the grade 10 introduction to business (BBI2O) class sections competed in the finals of the McEwen Leadership Case Study Competition.
 
The competition marked the culmination of a year-long business leadership program at St. Andrew's in which the grade 10 students have acquired a variety of leadership skills and put them into practice by applying their skills to several business curriculum concepts.   
 
Throughout the school year, the students have learned to solve business problems concerning marketing, entrepreneurship, innovation, human resources, and social responsibility by utilizing the ‘case study approach’ to problem-solving. 
 
The final stage of the case study process featured a summative case study project in which each group acted as a consulting company and recommended several strategies.
From each of the five class sections, one student group qualified to compete in the finals of the case study competition.
 
The final competition took place in the Towers Library and the members of each finalist group presented their case-study solution to an audience of fellow grade 10 business finalists, as well as a star-studded judging panel. The judging panel featured Arima Ventin (executive director, Allergan), Peter Ferrante (president and CEO, FERRO Canada), and Peter Ventin (partner, Kelso Industrial Group).
 
Each group was judged on its ability to present a professional, feasible, and creative marketing plan for their basketball shoe product. In the end, the judges were extremely impressed by the ability of the students to address ‘real-world’ business issues with great depth and insight. In particular, Ms. Ventin said, "It was a pleasure to be engaged by so many brilliant and young minds.”
 
All the judges were impressed with the amount of preparation the boys had dedicated to their business projects, how well they did in their presentations, and effective communication skills that included positive positioning, eye contact, PowerPoint presentations, and excellent delivery. 
 
“It was great to see all individuals take their turn at speaking – it truly shows inclusiveness and collaboration,” added Ms. Ventin. “With this level of skill already in grade 10, they are bound to be successful business and community leaders later in life."
 
Afterwards, the judges deliberated to select a 'winning' group that they would 'hire' if this were a real-world consulting scenario.
 
Congratulations are extended to this year's championship group of Mitchell Bruce, Ryder Germaine, and Joshua Osborne. The judges thought that their competitive advantage was solid and credible, and they spent time getting buy-in to the product and the target segment. Finally, their presentation was clear, concise and backed up with research.
 
Story by Sean Ludwig, Course Director, McEwen Leadership program
 
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