Lady Gaga Featured in HBS Course

If Harvard Business School wasn't appealing enough, there is one more reason to want to attend: Lady Gaga.

No, "Mother Monster" will not be joining Tyra Banks as the latest icon to hit the streets of Cambridge, but Gaga's meteoric rise to fame is an appealing new part of Associate Professor Anita Elberse's course, "Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries." The second-year case-study class analyzes the decisions that have made the 25-year old pop sensation into one of the most influential and successful celebrities with a net worth of over $110 million.

The course starts with an examination of defining properties of creative industries and consequences for effective marketing strategies. It ends with a consideration of firms that fall outside the core set of creative industries but face comparable challenges or opportunities.

One of the cases zeroes in on a decision Gaga's manager, Troy Carter, made in September 2009, when rapper Kanye West backed out of the large-arena "Fame Kills" tour. The case asks students to place themselves in the situation and to decide whether the New York native should continue with the big tour as a solo artist, embark on a scaled-down solo tour, or cancel the tour altogether.

"It doesn't really matter what they ended up doing, the case study is more about what are the pros and cons of each—it's to understand underlying strategies to launching artists," Elberse said to the Boston Herald.

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