Resurrecting Football at University of Alabama at Birmingham

Resurrecting Football at University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Case
  • Teaching Notes

In 2014, the football program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) was discontinued. At the time, the Blazers had just wrapped up one of their best regular seasons in school history and were bowl eligible for only the second time in program history. The initial public shock of shutting down the program quickly turned to anger. A scarcity was created, where wins and losses suddenly did not seem nearly as important as just having UAB on the field. “Free UAB” and “Bring Back Blazer Football” campaigns began, as rallies and protests sought to reverse the decision. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, millions of dollars were raised in support of the program. These efforts were successful, but while UAB supporters celebrated the win of the program being reinstated the following summer, their work was just beginning. The UAB football program had to be rebuilt from scratch. Nevertheless, when the Blazers stepped back on the field in fall 2017, they shattered records. Apparel sales were strong and morale was boosted. And, almost as if it had been written for a Hollywood movie, the Blazers responded with their best back-to-back seasons in program history. This case is explained through the lens of scarcity theory.

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