UK Gatton College of Business and Economics hosts Econ Games 2023


Owen Chesemore

Participants gather at Kincaid Auditorium for the 2023 Econ Games on March 24, 2023, at the Gatton College of Business and Economics in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Owen Chesemore | Staff

Owen Chesemore, Reporter

The University of Kentucky hosted the 2023 Econ Games, sponsored by Middleground Capital and the Gatton College of Business and Economics, on March 24.

The Econ Games connected students with other universities to test and develop their data analytic skills and provide them with an environment to apply the knowledge they have gained in their classes. 

The games began at 10 a.m. on March 23, as students shuffled into Woodward Hall to register. Keynote presentations, lunches at Cornerstone and even a scavenger hunt followed the opening hour. 

Four teams presented their work on March 24. Judges selected one group from each of four rooms to deliver an eight to 10 minute presentation covering the conclusions they made based on company data. 

The first team to present was the United States Air Force Academy. Cheers erupted as the small team walked to the front of the Kincaid Auditorium. 

The team included Hayden Archer, Grace-Anne Beech, Zion Kelly, Brock Miller and Jessica Bosch. Their presentation was titled “Internal Analysis of Race Winning Brands.”

“Instead of just making some conclusions, we actually have developed a tool that you all can use in your future endeavors as a company … to make decisions with the board,” Breech said.

Using data, the team went on to identify which customers and products were the most valuable for a specific company. Two teammates explained three recommendations the team had for the company based on their findings.

“The goal wasn’t to come here and do an assignment with a rubric like a homework set,” Archer said. “At the end of the day, we didn’t [just] want to turn something in. We wanted to produce something, like a tool, that you could use later in life other than just a power presentation.”

The next team to present was the University of Kentucky, team number four. 

The members of UK Team Four were Shria Holla, Jonah Heck, Wilson Insko, Santiago Trujillo, Edison Shipley, Paul Schlowak, Eric Hua and Ali Al Alawi. Their presentation was titled “Focus, Consistency, & Profitability.”

The team found the most valuable and worst-performing product lines and made suggestions to the company using these discoveries. 

“We’re going to give you recommendations that will keep you safe during these interest rate hikes, and that will keep you safe with a history of product lines and their success that has already been established,” Holla said. 

The next to present was Northern Kentucky University (NKU), team number two. Their presentation was titled “The Best Pricing Strategy for Race Winning Brands.”

The team included James Blazina, Mariam Sidiahmed, Jamen Walz, Allyson Kunkel, Reach Thearith, Anna Vrogindewey and Mary Merklin. 

Their presentation offered a clear agenda, discussing the value of product lines, the merging and removal of product lines and implementing a seasonal strategy. 

The last group to present was University of Kentucky team number two. Their presentation was titled “Revving Up Revenue: A Strategy for Race Winning Brands.”

The presentation’s theme followed the title, with racing images and references sprinkled throughout.

At the end of each presentation, judges asked questions about their findings. 

After the presentations, judges took time to deliberate and determine the winners of the Econ Games. Cash prizes were given to teams for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Three groups also received gift cards. 

While the judges determined the winners, a microphone was passed around the auditorium so participants could share their thoughts and reflections on this year’s Econ Games. 

“I’m so proud of my team and how we approached the questions, but more importantly, how everybody was passionate about what they wanted to talk about,” one participant said.

Participants highlighted the learning experience offered by the Econ Games and their fellow teams. 

“I would say I’m feeling very proud of my team. I didn’t know many of them before yesterday, but I feel smarter just sitting here ‘cause they taught me so much, and I think they did a great job, and I’m really excited about this weekend and how it’s gone,” another shared.

NKU Team Three came in third place with a score of 157 points, UK Team Two came in second place and, winning the Econ Games 2023, UK Team Four came in first place with 168 points. 

After the awards, Darshak Patel, a senior lecturer and director of undergraduate studies at UK, shared his reflections on the event.

“This has been a fantastic two days. There’s been great energy. We can’t thank enough the judges, our sponsors, our faculty advisers, but most of all, the students,” he said.