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WMU team places fourth in national marketing competition

by Mark Schwerin

May 20, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of WMU students River Karaba, Adam Parz, John Hebert, Kristina Kelly and Kara Hensley.
WMU team members Karaba, Parz, Hebert, Kelly and Hensley
KALAMAZOO--A team of five students from Western Michigan University has placed fourth in a national marketing competition.

The WMU contingent was among 26 teams from universities across the nation competing in the EdVenture Partners American Petroleum Institute National Case Study Competition in late April, placing higher than teams from Wayne State University, Northwood University, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Texas at Arlington and San Diego State University.

WMU has participated in the EdVenture Partners National Case Study Competitions for the past eight years, placing in the top 10 nationally each year. This year's team included:

Teams were challenged to consider and answer a number of analytical questions regarding a client's brand positioning, communication strategy or any other current strategic situation as identified by the sponsoring client. The WMU team achieved 91 out of a possible 100 points.

Calling itself "Radio Adtive," the team, developed an integrated marketing communication campaign for the American Petroleum Institute with the goal of educating 18-25 year olds about national energy issues. Team members developed a campaign using a variety of non-traditional consumer touch points and carried the tagline "It's OK to be crude."

Dr. JoAnn Atkin, associate professor of marketing and the team's advisor, uses the competition as the capstone project in the Integrated Marketing Communications Campaigns class for students majoring in advertising and promotion. The students won the right to represent WMU in the competition by beating five other student teams in the class.

"This year, the competition was much more challenging than in previous years due to the nature of the client," Atkin says. "I'm very proud of what the students accomplished. The team's hard work was rewarded with another top five placement."