andy pregler

Former contestant and current co-organizer, Andrew Pregler, via

Hey everyone! It’s that time again for the 6th— yes, SIXTH — annual MLB College Challenge. This collaboration between Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) and the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) is a chance for students to get hands-on experience prototype and mocking ideas and products in a hack-a-thon setting.

(Note: the deadline for team registration is this Friday, Nov. 6.)  

So how does this work?

Simple! Teams of Syracuse University students are tasked with creating the next big thing for MLBAM.

Teams will begin their adventures Thursday night and finish by pitching their ideas in front of product developers, engineers, designers and social media coordinators from MLBAM. All of the judges either graduated from Syracuse, or love the programs and the students those programs help produce (For more on MLBAM, check out this recent feature.)

The event is free to students and sponsored by the iSchool at Syracuse and MLBAM. (Find more event details and updates at

The contest is being coordinated by iSchool faculty member and CEO of SIDEARM Sports, Jeffrey Rubin, Julie Walas Huynh, Director of Academic Advising and Student Development; and iSchool alumni and current employees: Josh Frost ’08, Marc Squire ’11, Ben Romy ’12, Andrew Pregler ’15, and James McRoberts ‘15, along with fellow Syracuse University graduate Mike Hoffman ’93. (Check out this blog post by Mark Squire on why students might want to participate in the event.)


Why am I doing this?

A great man once said: ‘When you come to a fork in the road, take it.’ This is a great opportunity for you and friends to experience how great products like, RBI Baseball, and other great MLBAM products start out. It’s a chance to work with other students super into technology and sports as well as meeting Syracuse alums who really want to see more Orange in the tech world! In fact, three of the MLBAM staff coming back to help are previous winners of the competition!

What do you mean by Hack-A-Thon?

We mean up all night, and running on energy drinks with your friends, Syracuse staff, and MLBAM developers! You’ll work with a team through the night on your next great idea, with help from iSchool faculty and MLBAM staff!

icafe hackathon

All-nighter hack-a-thon work – 2013 event employees will judge all eligible submissions on the following criteria: Creativity (34%); Practicality (33%); Professionalism (33%) . In the event of a tie, the creativity score will be used to determine the winner.

After it’s all put together, you get free dinner over at NBT Bank Stadium, home of the Syracuse Chiefs, while you present your idea to MLBAM and iSchool judges!

Who can be on my team?

Any student at Syracuse can be on your team! The only rules for teams are as follows: You must have ONE iSchool student on your team and the team cannot exceed more than FOUR people.

I want to do this but I don’t really have a team. 

That’s 100% OK. All you have to do is register with team N/A or No Team and we will put you on a team. It’s a great way to make new friends!

team presenting

Team presentation – MLB challenge 2012

Do I have to have advanced technical knowledge to participate?

Absolutely not. We’ve had a team of sophomores win this competition in the past. It’s all about being able to problem solve, creatively think, work outside the box, and be passionate about product development, sports, media or baseball!

Who Can Enter? 

The competition is open to all matriculated Syracuse University students, undergraduate or graduate. All iSchool students are encouraged to participate. Students will participate in self-composed teams.

Rosters must be composed of 2–4 people, and each team must have at least one full time iSchool student. Teams are encouraged to reach across age groups and disciplines in order to create solutions from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.

Here’s a video produced about the 2013 LB Challenge event, to give you a little better look at what happens:

Team Registration Due Friday – Event Nov. 12 & 13 

Team registration is due by noon on Friday, November 6. Competition dates are November 12 and 13. Competition begins at 6:00 PM on the 12th with dinner at Club 44.

Got other questions?

Please direct any event specific questions to Julie Walas Huynh or Jeff Rubin If you’re still not sure about doing this challenge, ask former participant to talk to you about his story of a great experience

May the best team win!