Keeping the Game Out of Court

By — on / Business Negotiations

Sometimes those on opposite sides of a bitter dispute can achieve great gains – if only they can spot the ways in which they are similar.

In 2001, the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association (MIBA), an organization of five New York-area colleges best known for staging college basketball’s National Invitation Tournament, filed a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

MIBA allege that certain NCAA rules governing team participation in preseason and postseason tournaments restricted school’s participation in MIBA tournaments, in violation of various antitrust laws.

After four years of litigation, the two parties announced not only that they would settle a lawsuit but also that the NCAA would purchase the rights to the MIBA preseason and postseason tournaments.

A Mutually Beneficial Outcome for Both Sides

As a result, the NCAA unified college basketballs preseason and postseason play. In addition, MIBA member schools received more profits from the sale than they ever would have realized by continuing to operate their own tournament.

Both the NCAA and the MIBA member schools saw an opportunity to realize greater gain than either could have received through the pending lawsuit. By recognizing their shared interests in maximizing exposures to (and revenues from) collegiate basketball, the parties found a way to capitalize on noncompetitive similarities and resolve their dispute.

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