THE CAROLINA COUGARS - 9624

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  • From: Mathematics,
  • Due on: Sat 12 May, 2012 (01:17am)
  • Asked on: Sat 12 May, 2012
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Description

The Carolina Cougars is a major league baseball expansion team beginning its third year of operation. The team had losing records in each of its first 2 years and finished near the bottom of its division. However, the team was young and generally competi- tive. The team’s general manager, Frank Lane, and manager, Biff Diamond, believe that with a few additional good players, the Cougars can become a contender for the division title and perhaps even for the pennant. They have prepared several proposals for free- agent acquisitions to present to the team’s owner, Bruce Wayne. Under one proposal the team would sign several good avail- able free agents, including two pitchers, a good fielding shortstop, and two power-hitting outfielders for $52 million in bonuses and annual salary. The second proposal is less ambitious, costing $20 million to sign a relief pitcher, a solid, good-hitting infielder, and one power-hitting outfielder. The final proposal would be to stand pat with the current team and continue to develop. General Manager Lane wants to lay out a possible season scenario for the owner so he can assess the long-run ramifications of each decision strategy. Because the only thing the owner under- stands is money, Frank wants this analysis to be quantitative, indi- cating the money to be made or lost from each strategy. To help develop this analysis, Frank has hired his kids, Penny and Nathan, both management science graduates from Tech. Penny and Nathan analyzed league data for the previous five seasons for attendance trends, logo sales (i.e., clothing, souvenirs, hats, etc.), player sales and trades, and revenues. In addition, they interviewed several other owners, general managers, and league officials. They also analyzed the free agents that the team was con- sidering signing. Based on their analysis, Penny and Nathan feel that if the Cougars do not invest in any free agents, the team will have a 25% chance of contending for the division title and a 75% chance of being out of contention most of the season. If the team is a con- tender, there is a .70 probability that attendance will increase as the season progresses and the team will have high attendance levels (between 1.5 million and 2.0 million) with profits of $170 million from ticket sales, concessions, advertising sales, TV and radio sales, and logo sales. They estimate a .25 probability that the team’s attendance will be mediocre (between 1.0 million and 1.5 million) with profits of $115 million and a .05 probability that the team will suffer low attendance (less than 1.0 million) with profit of $90 million. If the team is not a contender, Penny and Nathan estimate that there is .05 probability of high attendance with profits of $95 million, a .20 probability of medium atten- dance with profits of $55 million, and a .75 probability of low attendance with profits of $30 million. If the team marginally invests in free agents at a cost of $20 million, there is a 50–50 chance it will be a contender. If it is a con- tender, then later in the season it can either stand pat with its existing roster or buy or trade for players that could improve the team’s chances of winning the division. If the team stands pat,there is a .75 probability that attendance will be high and profits will be $195 million. There is a .20 probability that attendance will be mediocre with profits of $160 million and a .05 probability of low attendance and profits of $120 million. Alternatively, if the team decides to buy or trade for players, it will cost $8 million, and the probability of high attendance with profits of $200 million will be .80. The probability of mediocre attendance with $170 mil- lion in profits will be .15, and there will be a .05 probability of low attendance, with profits of $125 million. If the team is not in contention, then it will either stand pat or sell some of its players, earning approximately $8 million in profit. If the team stands pat, there is a .12 probability of high attendance, with profits of $110 million; a .28 probability of mediocre attendance, with profits of $65 million; and a .60 prob- ability of low attendance, with profits of $40 million. If the team sells players, the fans will likely lose interest at an even faster rate, and the probability of high attendance with profits of $100 mil- lion will drop to .08, the probability of mediocre attendance with profits of $60 million will be .22, and the probability of low atten- dance with profits of $35 million will be .70. The most ambitious free-agent strategy will increase the team’s chances of being a contender to 65%. This strategy will also excite the fans most during the off-season and boost ticket sales and advertising and logo sales early in the year. If the team does con- tend for the division title, then later in the season it will have to decide whether to invest in more players. If the Cougars stand pat, the probability of high attendance with profits of $210 million will be .80, the probability of mediocre attendance with profits of $170 million will be .15, and the probability of low attendance with profits of $125 million will be .05. If the team buys players at a cost of $10 million, then the probability of having high atten- dance with profits of $220 million will increase to .83, the proba- bility of mediocre attendance with profits of $175 million will be .12, and the probability of low attendance with profits of $130 million will be .05. If the team is not in contention, it will either sell some players’ contracts later in the season for profits of around $12 million or stand pat. If it stays with its roster, the probability of high atten- dance with profits of $110 million will be .15, the probability of mediocre attendance with profits of $70 million will be .30, and the probability of low attendance with profits of $50 million will be .55. If the team sells players late in the season, there will be a .10 probability of high attendance with profits of $105 million, a .30 probability of mediocre attendance with profits of $65 mil- lion, and a .60 probability of low attendance with profits of $45 million. Assist Penny and Nathan in determining the best strategy to follow and its expected value.

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