The Clark H. Byrum School of Business’ National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) team, Momentum, won first place at this year’s American Advertising Federation’s District Competition on Friday, April 4 at the Century Center in South Bend, Indiana, beating out Columbia College, Butler University, and Michigan State University. Other competitors in District 6 included University of Notre Dame, Ball State University, and University of Illinois.
The competition provides student teams with an actual client and the challenge to develop an integrated marketing communications campaign to meet specific objectives outlined by that client. This year’s client, Mary Kay, provided the teams with the challenge to create a $10 million, one-year campaign to launch in February 2015.
Marian University competes in the competitive District 6, the largest in the nation, with 19 teams this year. This is the fifth consecutive year Marian’s team has participated in the competition, and they have placed in the top four each year.
“I am so proud of our students who consistently place against such talented teams in our district,” said marketing professor and Team Momentum advisor, Lori Rumreich. “Since our first year, we have defeated large teams with many years of experience in the competition.”
“Last year we placed second to Michigan State, so it was rewarding to return with a win over them this year,” says Rumreich.
Presenting the campaign this year were seniors Drew Kelley and Benedict Polizzi, along with juniors Ben Brooks, Shannan Kelley, and Ashley McQueen.
“My team and I worked so hard to be competitive again this year,” said Drew Kelley, marketing major and account executive for the campaign. “Winning the district and being given the opportunity to try for nationals is amazing. We worked night and day to deliver something that is very unique. We want to go to Nationals and show Mary Kay what we have!”
According to Harrison Thee, the team’s creative director, “The Byrum School’s new experiential curriculum requires real-world problem solving with actual clients starting freshman year. I think that gives us an advantage.”
Thee, a marketing major, had to pitch a business plan to the head of a venture fund as a freshman. “Experiences like that help us feel confident when convincing a Mary Kay executive about how to spend $10 million.”
Team Momentum now faces a semi-final round with 18 teams nationally, consisting of a review of the marketing plan and a telephone conference call. The top eight teams to emerge from semi-finals move to the national competition in Boca Raton, Florida, May 28-30.
Hosted annually by the American Advertising Federation, the National Student Advertising Competition challenges students with real-world issues and asks them to research a product for a target market, identify competitors, and build an integrated marketing plan for the corporate client. More than 150 colleges and universities participate. Companies such as Coca-Cola, State Farm, and Nissan have implemented ideas created by students during previous contests.