Learning Management through Sports

 | August 20,2012 10:40 am IST

Students at MDI Gurgaon are finding novel ways of learning the aspects of management. Recently last week, they organized the Mandevian Premier League (MPL) formulated by the Sports Club of MDI designed on the lines of the popular national cricket league IPL.

Apart from just playing the sport the intention was to practically learn the aspects of Game Theory and Strategy.

Explaining the process, The Nominations were invited from the batch to be managers of different teams who then took up the bidding for the various players participating in the cricket tournament. All the teams were given equal amount of virtual money (Rs12000/-) and similar to IPL the team managers had to bid for icon players which had a base price. The managers then had to start bidding for the rest of the team based on the available pool of players. As the points allotted to every team were limited they had to make the team keeping in mind the available points. At the same they had to keep in mind that the popular players with superior performance will be bid higher and as such the team had to have a balance of star as well as other players.

MDI offers the subject of An Application to Game Theory and Business by Prof. Rohit Prasad. Under this course students learn to apply the concept of Game theory in real life situations.

Game Theory is the study of strategic decision making. It can be applied to different fields like economics, political science, sports, biology as well as psychology.

Auctions are good examples where game theory can be applied. There are in fact 4 distinct type of auctions that take place in todays world: First price sealed bids, Second price sealed bids (Vickrey auction), Open ascending bids (English auction), Open descending bids (Dutch auction).

In the process at MDI, The managers had virtual money. With this money had to bid for different set of players to make their team and their payoffs are the combination of strategies that derive expected utility (winning the bid for the desired players) for the managers. The auction of the players is based on the traditional English auction known as going, going, gone auction although some progressive base price was identified for the icon players based on the bidding. Further all the players had their base prices based on their respective popularity as identified by the Sports Club.

This is where interesting part comes in. The managers all have a fixed amount of money and a team to make. They learn the art of portfolio management, and act as venture capitalists who have to analyze and judge the players on practice or past performance.

Both the batches of the PGP programs participated in the novel concept and it turned out to be a huge success. Once done, students tried to improvise and are now planning to hold a Vickrey auction for a similar league in Futsal.

Students of 2 year also take up projects as part of the Game theory subject where they shall analyze real life examples/ cases and make scholarly articles on them at the end of the term.