Butler introduces new AR course: Bracket Busting

Students fill up a classroom in Jordan Hall. Photo by Mason Lovett.

TAYLOR THOMPSON | STAFF REPORTER | tgthomps@butler.edu

For the upcoming spring semester, Butler will be offering a new analytic reasoning course called Bracket Busting. Analytic reasoning courses are a part of the school’s core curriculum, and are required to graduate.

Bracket Busting course aims to provide students with the introductory knowledge and skills to apply analytics to common sports-related decisions, whether the student’s goal is to be a better fan, a sports business leader or both.

The analytic reasoning class emphasizes sports analytics, focusing on decision making in areas that include team development, game strategy, marketing, ticket pricing, fan development and concessions.

Bracket Busting also discusses the relationship between fans as consumers in the sports industry and how this experience offers a better understanding of the game.

Chad Knoderer, professor of pharmacy practice, introduced the course and will be teaching two sections in the spring. Knoderer teaches statistics and research design in the pharmacy program and has served on the core curriculum committee for Butler. His background in statistics and research, combined with a good understanding of what the core curriculum requires, helped Knoderer come up with the course.

“I realized I could teach something related to sports analytics, and how we as either consumers or as folks in the business can use sports data to make decisions,” Knoderer said. “Whether that’s from a sports player performance standpoint or a business decision standpoint.”

Matthew Kruger, a first-year exploratory business major, is a sports lover and has an interest in statistics. Bracket Busting happened to combine two of his favorite things.

“This course sounds like an excellent opportunity to not only get a better understanding of the sports industry, but also get a look at business applications and how sports are relevant to my major of interest,” Kruger said. “It is a great chance to combine something that I am passionate about and my major.”

Kate Fulton, a first-year strategic communication and journalism double major, also took interest in the class because of her love for sports.

“I love college basketball,” Fulton said. “March Madness is one of my favorite times of the year, and it would be interesting to have an understanding of the statistics behind the game.”

Fulton’s understanding of the course allowed her to associate her two majors and how they could be impacted.

“To see the different communication, specifically journalism and advertising, this would enable me to see things from different perspectives,” Fulton said. “These perspectives would also include the witnessing of cross-curriculum within all the subjects.”

Kruger said the class could help broaden his interests and the interests of other students taking the class.

“It opens a lot of doors of interest for other job opportunities,” Kruger said. “With the sports industry growing at the rate that it is, it’s important to diversify interests and broaden horizons, not knowing what the future can hold.”

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