Campus Hosts Marketing Competition Featuring Students from Five Local Universities

Campus Hosts Marketing Competition Featuring Students from Five Local Universities

By: Sam Boykin

A&M-San Antonio recently hosted the inaugural “Campaign in a Day” competition that provided the opportunity for students to develop a marketing campaign for the local chapter of Meals on Wheels. During the hands-on competition, each five-person team, including one from A&M-San Antonio, was paired with a local marketing agency, which provided guidance and helped with brainstorming.

“This event served as a special educational tool for students,” said MaryAnne Schweers, vice president of college relations for the San Antonio chapter of the American Marketing Association, which organized and managed the event. “We’re exposing these young people to real-world challenges and the chance to meet with potential employers. And the marketing agencies have the opportunity to identify new talent coming into the workforce pipeline.”

The five teams were challenged with creating a campaign to help Meals on Wheels increase donations and the number of volunteers. The nonprofit delivers meals to at-risk clients throughout the region as well as provides emotional and social support. Teams presented their campaigns to representatives from the nonprofit. Ultimately, Meals on Wheels chose the team from Trinity University as the winner.

The other teams that competed were from St. Mary’s University, the University of the Incarnate Word, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. All participants were awarded a free annual membership to the American Marketing Association.

Dr. Arne Baruca, A&M-San Antonio’s chair of the Management and Marketing Department and associate professor of marketing, organized the University’s five-person team. Members included students Jonathyn Williams, Carlo Cavazos, Chloe Garcia, Joele Romero and Pete Bernal.

“It was really an eye-opener to see that we can go out there and compete in high-level critical thinking scenarios against some really strong opponents,” said Cavazos. “It brought me great pride to represent our program, which I feel is heavily underrated.”

For the competition, A&M-San Antonio students were paired with representatives from Anderson Marketing.

“It was very encouraging to see such talent across the universities,” said Soeurette Shook-Kelly, director of corporate development at Anderson Marketing. “The teams got exposure to some fantastic agency folks, and we got to witness students and their raw talent. And the icing on the cake is a great nonprofit walked away with a plethora of ideas at no cost.”

Ariana Barbour, director of marketing and communications for Meals on Wheels, echoed this sentiment. “It was amazing to see everyone’s passion for the field, both students and professionals alike,” she said. “In our eyes, everyone was a winner because every team communicated unique ideas through their presentations that truly apply to our marketing efforts.”

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