Playing in an Extreme Sandbox


Marketing students and professors alike enjoy the TV show “Shark Tank.” It’s full of great examples of new businesses that can succeed and get investment funds, and even some businesses that will not get investment funds or succeed. What determines a successful investment opportunity? Well, that’s a great question for classroom discussion.

A recent example of a successful Shark Tank appearance was a company called “Extreme Sandbox” from Hastings, Minn. The company runs a 10-acre site in Minnesota (and will open another site in Texas in spring 2016) that offers visitors the experience of running large, heavy equipment machinery including bulldozers, skid steers, excavators, and even a fire truck! Individuals and teams operate the equipment, compete, and collaborate on a unique experience.

Finally, if you’ve always wanted to crush a car, add an option and demolish it!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. View the Shark Tank episode with Extreme Sandbox (season 7, episode 12):
  1. Visit Extreme Sandbox’s Web site:
  2. What is the company’s competition? How is the pricing set?
  3. Discuss the importance of target markets.
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team determine a target market for the company.
  5. Next, have each team develop a promotional campaign for the company for that target market.

Source: Business Journal, Shark Tank

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