University of South Florida & The New York Market Strategy

 Dr. Ralph Wilcox, the Provost and Executive Vice President of the University of South Florida System (USF), reflected on university’s major accomplishment in 2018-19. It has just been designated as a ‘Preeminent State Research University’ within the state of Florida (“USF Officially Designated as Preeminent”, 2019). Only two other universities in Florida have achieved that status: The University of Florida and Florida State University. The question was, what was next for USF?

High on the list was raising the reputation of the university (Wilcox Interview, 2018). One of the major issues facing USF was a perception problem. No one knew who they were and what they could offer to potential students and employers. They felt that a potential partnership with a sports organization could help them raise awareness. USF was looking to attract higher quality students, create a pipeline for development opportunities outside the Florida Market, give their students real-world educational opportunities in the work force (student consulting opportunities and independent projects) and target decision makers within the education industry (Wilcox Interview, 2018).

Based on the number of current students and alumni from the New York Market (New York, New Jersey, Long Island, Southern Connecticut and Eastern Pennsylvania) they particularly wanted to explore a northeast sports partnership. After initial discussions with the New York Jets, Wilcox and the executive team of USF wanted to evaluate the potential opportunity to see if there was a fit or not.

Would Dr. Wilcox choose the New York Jets as an educational strategic partner? Would he choose another sports organization within the New York Media Market? Or would he not invest in the New York Market and focus on a partnership within a different geographic market? Or focus on a partnership within a different region in Florida?

Author: Dan Kaufmann


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Kaufmann, D. (2020). University of South Florida & the New York market strategy. Muma Case Review 5(1). 1-40.