2015 Anderson School marketing team
UNM Anderson School students (l. to r.) Morgan Kennedy, Kelvin Krupiak, Jacob McConkey, Ruben Macias, David Baca and Alexandria Chavez won first place in the annual 2015 API Marketing competition.

Undergraduate marketing students from the UNM Anderson School of Management took top honors in the Energy and Jobs Tomorrow Case Challenge, a national student marketing competition sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute (API) that included 20 teams from universities across the country.

The winning UNM team, including David Baca, Alexandria Chavez, Morgan Kennedy, Kelvin Krupiak, Ruben Macias and Jacob McConkey, competed in the finals against students from Michigan State University and Aurora University in San Francisco, Calif., last week.

The schools were judged by a panel of marketing communication executives from leading companies in the oil and natural gas industry including BP, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, Occidental and Shell Oil.

John Benavidez, Nick Flor and Catherine Roster mentored the students throughout the semester-long competition that was conducted as part of Benavidez and Flor’s senior-level course in digital marketing.

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 API, Credit Karma and Subaru of America.

“These competitions are a great educational experience for our students,” said Anderson Interim Dean Craig White. “They enable them to associate with others who are at the top of their game.”

Participating teams were tasked with creating an integrated marketing campaign aimed at educating and informing Millennials of the wide range of jobs available in the oil and natural gas industry, and driving the target market to the Oil and Gas Workforce website. In addressing the task, the UNM team conducted research to identify the level of awareness and perceptions of oil and natural gas careers within the target audience.

Using their research findings, the students developed a plan that included social media, digital signage, posters, promotional videos, campus outreach, and public relations. The campaign message – the oil and gas industry offers a wide range of challenging and rewarding jobs that make a difference - linked all the campaign tactics together.

The first place award came with a cash prize of $5,000. The money will help support the Rick and Debbie Johnson Marketing Center, a state-of-the-art learning studio for students enrolled in upper-division marketing courses at the Anderson School.