Advertising at a charity walk

By — on / Business Negotiations, Daily

The PON Clearinghouse offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises. Ocean Splash is a two-party, two-issue scoreable negotiation between a charity and a corporate sponsor regarding the number and placement of advertising banners at a fundraising walk.

SCENARIO: The U.S. Cancer Association (USCA) chapter in Sixton City is organizing its annual cancer walk, which ends at the Sixton University Stadium. Local TV stations cover the walk’s awards ceremony inside the stadium.

Every year, many of Sixton City’s largest businesses sponsor the walk. USCA arranges for sponsors to display banners along the walk course, and in the stadium. Corporate sponsors prefer to display their banners in the stadium, where the TV stations set up their cameras.

Each year, USCA sets a “banner price” (the cost of displaying one banner along the walk course or in the stadium), which is non-negotiable. USCA and the walk’s corporate sponsors then negotiate the total number of banners each company will display, and the number of banners that the company will be able to display in the stadium.

The USCA Cancer Walk Coordinator, John Simonds, is about to meet with Emilia Biggs, VP for Public Relations at the Ocean Splash Corporation, a major juice manufacturer headquarted in Sixton City and a sponsor of the walk. John Simonds of USCA wants to “sell” Ocean Splash a large number of banners, but he wants to limit the number of banners Ocean Splash displays in the stadium, so that he can offer stadium display space to as many corporate sponsors as possible. Emilia Biggs of Ocean Splash wants to “buy” a relatively small number of banners, and to display as many of them as possible in the stadium.

This simulation is a variation of Negotiated Development in Redstone, also available from the Clearinghouse.

MECHANICS: This scorable game takes about 10 minutes to read. Preparation should take approximately 15-20 minutes. The parties are given a chart to assess their scores for all possible agreements. The negotiation should take 30-45 minutes. At least 30 minutes should be allocated for debriefing.


  • For all parties:
    • General information
  • Role specific:
    Confidential instructions and scoring charts for:

    • John Simonds, USCA Walk Coordinator
    • Emilia Biggs, Ocean Splash VP for Public Relations
  • Teacher’s package:
    • All of the above
    • Chart of possible outcomes

PROCESS THEMES: anchoring; BATNA; bluffing; closure; constituents; creativity; currently perceived choice analysis; interests, dovetailing; linkage; meaning of “success”; misrepresentation; monolithic vs. non-monolithic parties; offers, first; precedents; pressure tactics; public opinion; reservation price


This game involves pre-negotiation analysis enabling parties to understand the importance of “aspirations” as distinct from BATNAs.

The participants have an opportunity to analyze the differences between distributive and integrative bargaining.

Focusing on issues that are valued differently will allow participants to assess the importance of trading across issues to reach an agreement.

To purchase this role simulation, click here.

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