UW-Whitewater: Student marketing organization a case competition finalist for sixth straight year

Contact: Jimmy Peltier

(262) 472-5474

[email protected]

WHITEWATER ­ No matter how stiff the competition, the American Marketing Association chapter at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater continues to get results.

For a record sixth straight year, the chapter was selected as one of 10 finalists in AMA’s International Case Competition. This year’s competition asked chapters to develop ways to raise funds for UNICEF’s Tap Project, which focuses on the elimination of water-born diseases around the world.

“Our approach to this year’s Case Competition was to stay organized and on track throughout the whole three-to-four month writing and research process,” said junior Devin Wyngard of Greenville, team leader of the project. “Unfortunately like many projects we ran into many obstacles, but with a team of about 20 motivated individuals the case came through as a success in the end.”

The UW-Whitewater team tackled the project by creating an integrated marketing communications plan that used social media. The end goal was to raise $2 million for UNICEF with a $300,000 budget. While the financial aspect was difficult in itself, the team also found a unique situation in fundraising for a nonprofit organization.

“Working with a nonprofit client had many challenges because traditional marketing that we have learned about in most of our classes is to market a good or service,” Wyngard said. “After diving into the case head-first many team members started to feel a personal connection with the charity and realized that we have the opportunity to truly help people in need.”

Carol Scovotti, marketing department chair and faculty case coordinator, said the team of students put an extraordinary amount of work into the project.

“It’s unprecedented for a chapter to make the finals six years in a row and I’m very proud of the commitment the students made to the project,” she said. “They started working on the project the first day of the fall semester and the amount of work they put in is comparable or even more than what most students do in classes.”

UW-Whitewater’s chapter reached the finals in the competition while facing off against some of the best schools of business in the country. This success has become typical for the chapter over the years.

“As reigning International Chapter of the Year, the success of our case team is just one more feather in our cap,” said Jimmy Peltier, faculty adviser for the UW-Whitewater AMA chapter. “It never stops to amaze me that our students can compete year-in-and year-out with schools like Wharton, widely recognized as one of the premier business programs in the world.”

Peltier said that the chapter’s past achievements and the students’ eagerness to continue that tradition are big factors in this year’s success. He also made it clear that without the help of a few key business faculty members, this year’s success would not have been possible.

“Carol Scovotti does a great job mobilizing and directing this energy and using it to our advantage,” Peltier said. “Our task this year was made more difficult given that the number and quality of case entries are at an all-time high. Andy Dahl, a past AMA member and now a faculty member in the department, played a huge role on our success. Without his drive, experience and motivational skills we would not have reached our goal of making the finals, especially in such a competitive environment.”

The case team is now charged with creating a presentation they will then pitch to UNICEF brass at the national case competition finals Friday, April 9. The team is looking forward to the opportunity to present at nationals.

“As a team, we definitely have some nervous feelings since we are competing against some of the top business schools in the nation,” Wyngard said. “But we are also eager and excited to have this wonderful opportunity to add to our college career.”

For more information on UW-Whitewater’s AMA chapter, contact Peltier at [email protected].