Fourth-year computer science majors win Future of Baseball Fanship Innovation Challenge

Erik Earl and James Farme
Neil Weiss, Erik Earl and James Farmer

Weatherhead School of Management’s xLab hosted its inaugural pitch competition, Future of Baseball Fanship Innovation Challenge, sponsored by the Cleveland Guardians during Case Western Reserve University's Innovation Week

Fourteen teams pitched their ideas about engaging with different segments of the Cleveland Guardians fan base in front Neil Weiss, Cleveland Guardians executive vice president, chief information officer, their peers and xLab faculty and staff.

Fourth-year students, James Farmer and Erik Earl—both majoring in computer science—won first place at the competition, which included a $3,000 prize and VIP tickets to a 2024 Cleveland Guardians game. Farmer and Earl’s winning presentation was on their idea for digital baseball cards to increase fan engagement during and outside of game days. 

Two student teams were runners-up, winning $1,000 each and tickets to a 2024 Cleveland Guardians game:

Grace Lee, Helen Matia and Russel Low

Grace Lee, third-year double major in history and economics, Helen Matia, third-year double major in political science and economics and Russel Low, third-year double major in history and economics (pictured left), pitched an idea on enhancing the pre-game atmosphere.

Junzhao Zhang, Bhargav Bhalodi and Kimi Chou

Second-year master of business analytics and intelligence students, Junzhao Zhang, Bhargav Bhalodi and Kimi Chou (pictured left) presented on a concept for the digitalization of baseball.