Management took first place in the com­pe­ti­tion titled, Energy Tomor­row: America's Chal­lenge.">

Undergraduate marketing students from the UNM Anderson School of Management recently took top honors in the national marketing case study competition titled, Energy Tomorrow: America's Challenge, in San Francisco, Calif. The competition, sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute (API), included 27 teams from universities across the country.

In the finals the UNM team, which included Joel Castor, Dylan Crouch, Templer Horry, John Phan and Ruby Watkins, bested students from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Ball State University's Miller College of Business last week in San Francisco, Calif. The schools were judged by a panel of marketing communication executives from leading companies in the oil and gas industry including BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Shell Oil.

John Benavidez and Dr. Catherine Roster mentored the students throughout the semester-long competition conducted as part of Benavidez's senior-level course in promotion management. Beating top-flight colleges and universities in national competitions is nothing new to the Anderson School marketing program. In recent years, the program has been victorious in competitions sponsored by Cadillac, Subaru of America and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"These competitions are a great educational experience for our students," said Anderson Dean Doug Brown. "They enable them to associate with others who are at the top of their game."

Participating teams were tasked with developing a comprehensive integrated marketing communications plan for the American Petroleum Institute that effectively educates 18-25 year olds on national energy issues. In addressing the task, the UNM team conducted a national research study to gather key insights on the target market's perceptions of energy, their consumption patterns, and media preferences.

Using their research findings, the students developed a plan that included a community generated blog, a viral video, indoor and outdoor interactive ads, guerrilla marketing tactics, and strategies on maximizing social media. The campaign message - Millennials are empowered to take charge of the conversation on energy issues - linked all the campaign tactics together.

The judges applauded the UNM team for their solid research, creative strategy, and professionalism.
The first-place award came with a cash prize of $5,000. The money will help support the soon-to-be named Rick and Debbie Johnson Marketing Center, a state-of-the-art studio and learning facility for students enrolled in upper-division marketing courses at the Anderson School. The new name becomes official on Aug. 4, honoring the couple that started the Rick Johnson and Company ad agency in Albuquerque in the 70s.

Also on that day, A Taste of Anderson, Creative Kitchen: A Culinary Event to benefit the Rick and Debbie Johnson Marketing Center will be held at University House. For more information contact Natalie Mead at (505) 277-6413 or e-mail, to purchase tickets to attend the event featuring gourmet cuisine from some of Albuquerque's finest restaurants, wine, champagne, desserts, live music and a silent auction.

Proceeds from the benefit will help purchase new equipment and technology for marketing students. The Marketing Center was created with seed funding through the generosity of Anderson Marketing and Ethics Professors Linda and O.C. Ferrell who remain committed to student and industry excellence.

Story by and media contact: Leslie Venzuela, 277-7117; e-mail: