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Courtesy Butler Athletics

ABOUT the book

In 2010, Butler University’s men’s basketball team made a stunning run to the national championship game, becoming the smallest school to make the final in the modern history of the NCAA tournament. In 2011, they did it again. With back-to-back turns as America’s favorite underdog, Butler basketball provided its university back home in Indianapolis with an unprecedented opportunity.


The Cinderella Strategy details how Butler started its move toward the Final Fours as far back as 1989, forged a synergy between a big-time athletic program and a serious academic institution in the process, and then leveraged the Cinderella story for all it was worth. The authors analyze how the university’s decision-makers took full advantage of this opportunity, delving into the brilliant marketing of Butler’s live mascot program, the authentic branding of “The Butler Way,” and the critical move into the Big East. Through these and other tactics, Butler transformed its academic reputation, enrollment, fundraising, and campus infrastructure, all in an era when many other small, private universities have struggled to survive. The resulting story interweaves basketball luminaries like Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens, Villanova Coach Jay Wright, and San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich with the tireless efforts of so many lesser known but equally talented individuals within the Butler community.


The Cinderella Strategy reveals how Butler has shattered the odds time and time again, both on and off the court. In the process, it offers a heartening case study of how a complex organization can find, manage, and multiply success, without having to trade its soul in the process.


meet the authors

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Graham honaker

Graham serves as Executive Director of Principal Gifts at Butler University, where he is in his ninth year. He has worked on various campaigns at Butler including the Campaign for Hinkle Fieldhouse and the Butler Beyond Campaign. He serves on the boards of the Milan '54 Hoosiers Museum and Project 44, and is a trustee for the Robert Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. Graham holds an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and a master's degrees from Indiana University.

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Jerry Logan

Jerry Logan is the Director of Academic Operations and a Lecturer in the Recreation, Sport, and Wellness program at Gordon College in Wenham, MA. He holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Boston College and an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from the College of William and Mary.

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