University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business


April 7-9, 2016
University of Arkansas


Analyze, Develop, Present

The Southeastern Conference is known for excellence in athletics and academics, on and off the field. The SEC MBA Case Competition is one of several events overseen by SECU, the academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference. The Sam M. Walton College of Business will host the 2016 SEC MBA Case Competition on April 7-9 at the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The 14 SEC universities will each send four-member MBA student teams to compete in this prestigious case competition. Teams are presented with a live, real-world problem faced by a company, and with strict time limitations, they work to analyze the case, develop a strategy, and present their solutions to panels of judges, many of whom come from the case company. The competition allows students to interact and collaborate with MBA peers across the SEC, as well as showcase their skills in front of a real company in preparation for their careers.

The company the case is based on for this year's competition will be announced one month prior to the event. The company will present the live case for analysis and provide company executives to serve as judges.

Registration for Participants

Advisors from the SEC participating universities should register themselves and their students for the case competition. Advisors may fill out the registration for their entire team or ask each MBA student team member to register individually.

The University of Alabama
The University of Arkansas
Auburn University
The University of Florida
The University of Georgia
The University of Kentucky
Louisiana State University
The University of Mississippi
Mississippi State University
The University of Missouri
The University of South Carolina
The University of Tennessee
Texas A&M University
Vanderbilt University

Competition Schedule

Thursday, April 7th (Dress: Business Casual - School Colors)

10:00 am - 4:00 pm - Check in and Registration - Hilton Garden Inn Lobby

3:30 pm - Shuttle from Hilton Garden Inn to Bud Walton Arena for athletic facility tour *Shuttle will run every 15 minutes, last shuttle will leave hotel at 6:15 pm

4:00 pm - Tour of Bud Walton Arena

5:00 pm - Shuttle from Bud Walton Arena to Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Raymond Miller Room

5:00-6:00 pm - Happy Hour - Reynolds Razorback Stadium Raymond Miller Room

6:00 - 8:00 pm - Dinner and Opening Reception - Reynolds Razorback Stadium Raymond Miller Room

7:30 pm - First shuttle from Reynolds Razorback Stadium to Hilton Garden Inn

8:00 pm - Improv Session

Friday, April 8th (Dress: Business Casual - No School Colors)

6:00-7:00 am Continental Breakfast Hilton Garden Inn

7:00 am First Shuttle from Hilton Garden Inn to Reynolds Center Auditorium *Shuttle will run every 15 minutes, last shuttle will leave hotel at 7:30 am

8:00-10:00 am Presentation of Case and Rules Reynolds Center Auditorium


10:00 - 11:30 am - Work in Case Rooms

11:30 am - 1:00 pm - Lunch (boxed options available 'to-go') - Willard J. Walker Hall 203

1:00 - 2:00 pm - Work in Case Rooms

2:00 - 4:00 pm - Teams Test Presentation Room Equipment

4:00 - 5:00 pm - Question & Answer session with Case Writer - Willard J. Walker Hall Auditorium 218

5:00 - 6:00 pm - Work in Case Rooms

6:00 - 7:00 pm - Dinner (boxed options available 'to-go') - Willard J. Walker Hall 203

7:00 pm - 6:00 am - Shuttle to and from Hotel *Shuttle will run every 30 minutes until 6:00 am


10:00 - 11:00 am - Planning Meeting - Willard J. Walker Hall 505

11:00 am - Shuttle to Ella's Restaurant at Carnall Inn

11:30 am-1:00 pm - Lunch at Ella's Restaurant

1:00 pm - Shuttle to Hilton Garden Inn (optional)

1:00 pm - Shuttle to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

1:45 - 3:45 pm - Museum Tour of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

3:45 pm - Shuttle to Hilton Garden Inn for Free Time

6:00 pm - Shuttle to dinner - Shogun Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Restaurant

6:30 - 8:00 pm - Dinner at Shogun Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Restaurant

8:00 pm - First shuttle to Hilton Garden Inn

8:30 pm - Last shuttle to Hilton Garden Inn

Saturday, April 9th (Dress: Business Professional - No School Colors)

6:00 - 9:00 am - Private Continental Breakfast provided at Hilton Garden Inn 

6:30 am - First Shuttle from Hilton Garden Inn to Reynolds Center Auditorium *Shuttle will run every 30 minutes, last shuttle will leave hotel at 4:00 pm

7:00 am - Deadline to electronically submit presentation files to Blackboard


8:00 - 11:30 am – Divisional Presentations, Willard J. Walker Hall, Multiple Rooms (Teams will be drawn during Thursday event to determine the room assignments.)

11:30 am - 1:00 pm - Lunch Buffet Reynolds Center, Room 103

Advancing Teams Announced

Non-Advancing Team Feedback

1:00 - 1:40 pm - Finals Division A Team - Reynolds Center Auditorium

1:50 - 2:30 pm - Finals Division B Team - Reynolds Center Auditorium

2:30 - 3:00 pm - Break

3:00 - 3:40 pm - Finals Division C Team - Reynolds Center Auditorium

3:50 - 4:30 pm - Finals Division D Team - Reynolds Center Auditorium

4:45 pm - Closing Ceremony and Awards Presentation - Reynolds Center Auditorium

5:30 pm - Shuttles from Reynolds Center to Hog Haus Brewing Co. and Restaurant (optional) and Hilton Garden Inn

5:30 pm - Closing Reception and Networking at Hog Haus Brewing Co. and Restaurant

6:00 pm - Shuttle from Hog Haus to Hilton Garden Inn *Shuttle will run every 30 minutes, last shuttle will leave Hog Haus at 8:30 pm

Click below to view the event brochure.

Event Location

The SEC MBA Case Competition will be held at the Walton College of Business on the campus of the University of Arkansas.  Two buildings will house events: Willard J. Walker Hall, and the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development.

Venue View on Google Maps View on Campus Map

Area Attractions

The Sam M. Walton College of Business is located on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Northwest Arkansas region is known for its vibrant industry, Razorback Athletics, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the incredible natural beauty of the nearby Ozark Mountains and Buffalo River National River.

area attractions


Hilton Garden Inn

Reservations are available by calling Hilton Garden Inn Fayetteville, 479-856-6040.


Refer to the room block "SEC MBA Case Competition" and let the front desk representative know the number of rooms to reserve. Provide them with the school name as individual names are not required for initial reservation.

If you have any questions, please call Becca Clifton:


Hilton Garden Inn Fayetteville

1325 N. Palak Drive

Fayetteville AR 72704


Map to Hotel

SEC MBA Case Competition Rules

1. Teams must consist of four MBA students who are FIRST-TIME ATTENDEES to this competition. The university represented by each team must not be identified to the competition judges. An automatic 15-point deduction will be applied. 

2. Each student team will be randomly assigned to one of four divisions (Division) and to presentation order (Team) within the division on the Thursday evening before the competition. The Division-Team assignment will be used to identify the team during the competition weekend.

3. During the competition weekend, teams may not solicit or receive help from anyone not on their four-member team. Once the case is distributed, the faculty advisors may not communicate with the team members regarding any case topic or issue until after the team’s initial divisional round presentation. If this occurs, the team will be disqualified.

4. Teams must bring their own laptops and have the ability to put their presentations on a flash drive and to upload their presentation files electronically to a Dropbox folder (to-be-specified). Teams will be provided flash drives. To ensure smooth transitions, all presentations must run on Windows/PC software.

5. The competition case will be distributed on the Friday morning of the competition, and presented by the case author and the corporate sponsor. The case will be from the general business policy/strategic management area. No information about the case will be released prior to the competition. Students will be allowed to ask clarification questions about the case at this meeting before going to their case preparation rooms.

6. All teams will be assembled for a Q&A session on Friday with the case author and a subject matter expert from the corporate sponsor. Each team will be allowed to submit up to three (3) questions in writing before the session. If there is time available after responses have been given to the written questions, additional rounds of questions may be asked by the teams. Each team will be allowed to ask the same number of questions. No advisors will attend; only students will attend this session; teams may send one (1) or more team members to the session.

7. Participants are welcome to use publicly available information in the case presentation. The Internet can be used to assist in the “case-specific information hunt” such as gathering updated information about the company or industry. During case preparation, teams are permitted to use the Internet and bring textbooks for general information-gathering purposes (e.g., clarification of financial ratios or Porter’s industry analysis). The Internet can also be used to locate graphics for the presentation; however, teams should not assume they have permission to use the company logo. Permission must be expressly stated by the company when the subject company is revealed. Directly contacting any individual working for the company is strictly prohibited.

8. The first slide of the PowerPoint presentation must contain the assigned Division-Team number, names of the team members, and corresponding photos (“headshots”). The photos must not identify the team’s university or business school. A footer should be added to the PowerPoint presentation identifying the Division-Team assignment and slide number (in “Page x of X” format). Teams are prohibited from identifying their university affiliation in any way during their presentation. Teams who identify their university affiliation will be immediately disqualified. All presentations are to use the equipment provided. A computer, projector and screen will be available for team presentations.

9. Each team’s presentation must be submitted electronically to a Dropbox (to-be-specified) by 7:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. Presentation files must be named with the Division-Team assignment. Each team will provide and label two files as “presentation” (what students will access via room computer) and “printout” (includes presentation deck and appendices - contains ALL materials to be provided to judges). The “presentation” file should be provided in PPT format and the “printout” file should be provided in PDF format. In addition to the items submitted, each team is responsible for and encouraged to have a backup of the two presentation files on the flash drive provided. No revisions can be made to any portion of the team’s electronic presentation once submitted. Any demonstration aids must also be presented, approved, and given to the case officials at this time. A hard copy of each team’s presentation (one slide per sheet) will be provided to each of the judges by the competition staff.

10. The preliminary round of presentations on Saturday morning, will consist of four divisions (two divisions of four teams and two divisions of three teams). Each team will present to a panel of at least three judges in the divisional round. Winners of the four divisions will advance to the final round on Saturday afternoon. The four finalist teams will present to a panel of at least five judges in the final round. The majority of the judges on each panel will come from the sponsor company.

11. Business professional attire is required for the presentation.

12. All members of the team must present a portion of the case to the judges; however, all team members do not need to speak the same amount of time.

13. The competition judges will act as the Board of Directors of the case company and the teams are considered outside consultants. The judges are familiar with the company and the case, so teams do not need to repeat the case in their presentations. Teams are expected to define and analyze the issues, and to present and justify a plan of action.

14. The following presentation time allotment will be strictly enforced:

  • Divisional Round:
    • 20 minutes – Team presentation*

    • 15 minutes – Q&A

    • 10 minutes – Judges score and discuss presentation

    • 5 minutes – Team changeover

  • Final Round:
    • 20 minutes – Team presentation*

    • 15 minutes – Q&A

    • 10 minutes – Judges score and discuss presentation*

    • 5 minutes – Team changeover

*Five-minute and one-minute warnings will be given by the timers


15. During the Q&A portion of the presentation, questions from judges may be directed either at individuals or to the team as a whole. The judges have been instructed not to interrupt the 20-minute formal presentation, if at all possible.

16. Teams will not be permitted to observe other teams’ divisional round presentations. Faculty advisors may sit in their own team’s presentation, if desired. Teams CANNOT make changes to slides once submitted.

17. Teams advancing to the final round may watch presentations after their final presentation. Advisors are permitted to sit through all final round presentations. Advisors should not have contact with their schools’ teams during the final rounds.

During the closing ceremony, the individual awards will also be presented in the following categories: Best Presenter in each division and Best Q&A in each division. Following the final round, 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place, and 4th place teams will be announced.

Contact Event Coordinators

meredith adkins

Meredith Adkins

Career Center Corporate Outreach Director

becca clifton

Becca Clifton

Director of Walton College Conference Hub

jenny glover

Jenny Glover

Graduate Assistant - SEC MBA Case Competition

jessica hilton

Jessica Hilton

Assistant to the Associate Deans

kristen raney

Kristen Raney

Assistant MBA Director

marion dunagan

Marion Dunagan

Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs


News and Updates


The 2016 SEC MBA Case Competition case company will be 
Henkel Corporation.

Holding globally leading market positions both in the consumer and industrial sector, and  known for brands such as Persil, Schwarzkopf and Loctite, Henkel is organized into three globally operating business units: Laundry & Home Care, Beauty Care and Adhesive Technologies. The Dax-30 company is headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany, and proud of its about 50,000 employees from more than 120 nations worldwide.

Learn more at MBA teams may use the company logo in their presentations.