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BYU students place in national marketing competition

After breaking only once in 36 hours — for a power nap — a team of BYU marketing students presented their campaign to showcase PepsiCo’s environmental efforts. The sleep-deprived team impressed the judges and placed third in the fifth annual Undergraduate Case Challenge, a division of the Wake Forest University 2009 MBA Marketing Summit.

The competition began in the fall as the BYU team prepared a marketing strategy for PepsiCo regarding their environmental sustainability and green products. Their recommendation earned them an invitation to compete in the finals at the marketing summit in North Carolina.

At the finals the BYU team had 36 hours to analyze another case, which described the current green initiatives that the bottled beverage industry has been implementing.

"These students held their own with the MBA-level case, defended well-grounded and creative solutions and demonstrated superior presentation and question-and-answer skills," says Sterling Bone, assistant marketing professor and a team adviser.

BYU’s marketing strategy targeted millennials, or Generation Y, and recommended getting the college-age generation more involved to promote environmental sustainability.

“We developed a marketing plan based on research that gave PepsiCo some exciting solutions to show off their environmental efforts and help raise recycling awareness,” says PJ Andersen, BYU team captain.

The BYU team consisted of Ross Johnson, a junior majoring in marketing from Chino Hills, Calif.; PJ Andersen, a junior majoring in marketing from Danville, Calif.; and Steven Wrigley, a junior majoring in international relations from Salt Lake City.

Teams from the University of Maryland and the University of Pennsylvania placed first and second, respectively.

“I was so honored to have this chance to represent BYU and compete on a national level with high-caliber students from around the country,” Wrigley says.

The other top six teams to make it to the finals included Boston College, Brandeis University and Wake Forest University.

The Marriott School has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. The school’s mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

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Writer: Emily Webster


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