Six Flags

by: Robert J. Dolan

Publication Date: April 22, 2010
Length: 12 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-076

Core Disciplines: Accounting/Finance, Marketing/Sales, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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This case is about Six Flags, a national theme park chain, as its CEO, Mark Shapiro (former Executive VP at ESPN), strives to turn around the company’s fortune. Attendance was dropping in the late 2000s as the US economy struggled, causing Six Flags to file for bankruptcy in June 2009. This case describes Six Flags’ founding, its niche, its top competitors, its acquisition-focused growth strategy, and its strategic investment in Dick Clark Productions.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Describe the theme park industry in the United States.
  • Delineate Six Flags' positioning strategy and how it provided competitive differentiation.
  • Explain Six Flags' growth strategy with its acquisition of Dick Clark Productions.