APRIL 11, 2014 – COLUMBUS, OHIO – As the Columbus Blue Jackets enter the playoffs for the second time in franchise history, another contest is going on off the ice. The National Center for the Middle Market, a collaboration between GE Capital and The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, kicks off the 22nd Annual Fisher Invitational Case Competition this weekend. Formerly called the Big Ten+, teams of first-year MBA students from the nation’s top business schools are gathering at the Fisher campus to take on a business case for the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets.

Defined as companies with annual revenues between $10 million to $1 billion, the U.S. middle market represents nearly 200,000 businesses across the country. America’s professional sports teams, ranging from football, basketball, hockey and soccer, cover every revenue segment of the middle market. In addition, their economic and employment contributions help make the middle market the fastest growing segment of the U.S. economy.

“As a live business case, the Fisher Invitational provides mid-market companies like the Columbus Blue Jackets with real solutions to real business challenges recommended by the country’s leading MBA students,” said Tom Stewart, Executive Director, National Center for the Middle Market. “More important, this competition introduces future business leaders to the tremendous careers opportunities that the middle market can offer.”

“The Blue Jackets organization is very pleased and honored to have been invited by The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business to participate in this year’s case competition,” said Larry Hoepfner, Executive Vice President of Business Operations, Columbus Blue Jackets. “Our judging panel of team executives is looking forward to the opportunity this experience will provide for our business and the talented students who will be presenting.”

During the invitational, teams have just 24 hours to analyze a complex business case, identify a challenge and present their recommendations to a panel of judges comprised of company leaders and industry executives. The competition provides MBA students with the opportunity to hone their business skills and network with professionals and fellow competitors. Partnering companies, such as the Blue Jackets, receive exposure to top MBA talent and creative business solutions.

Schools participating in the 2014 Fisher Invitational Case Competition include:

  • The Ohio State University
  • Michigan State University
  • Penn State University
  • Purdue University
  • The University of Illinois
  • The University of Iowa
  • The University of Maryland
  • The University of Minnesota
  • The University of Rochester
  • The University of Wisconsin
  • Washington University in St. Louis


The National Center for the Middle Market was founded in 2011 in partnership with GE Capital and is located at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. The Center is the leading source of research on the U.S. middle market economy, which represent one-third of non-government U.S. GDP and employs 45.6 million workers. To learn more about the Center, visit www.middlemarketcenter.org or follow us on Twitter at @MidMarketCenter.


Jeff Caywood
GE Capital
(513) 530-7028

Ann Hamilton
The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business
(614) 292-8150

Karen Davis
Columbus Blue Jackets
(614) 246-4310