Marketing students at The University of New Mexico's Anderson School of Management had a strong showing against 19 other universities placing second in the Acura ILX Marketing Challenge held recently. 

The Anderson group of senior marketing students was one of three teams to make it to the finals along with Johns Hopkins University and the University of Rhode Island.

Their integrated marketing campaign for the 2017 Acura ILX titled “Live Life in High Gear” featured branded events, marketing collateral, digital signage, online video content, and social media using a $2,000 budget provided by Acura. “Live Life in High Gear” showcased Acura’s performance technologies and celebrated the on-the-go lifestyle of the millennial target audience.

“This program was a unique and exciting opportunity for our students,” said Professor John Benavidez. “It enabled them to apply concepts learned in the classroom to real world marketing challenges. We are honored that Acura, an automotive industry leader, elected to partner with our university on this education-industry initiative.”

Students Kyle Biederwolf, Gisel Breceda, Shannon Lynch, John Orr, and Somi Phaybouth traveled to California, along with Benavidez, to present their campaign at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Acura executives praised the team’s presentation skills, target market profile, creative execution, and understanding of the Acura brand before awarding the UNM team with second place honors.

"The Anderson School is very proud of Professor Benavidez and the team,” said Dean Craig White. “The marketing students continue to be successful in interacting with outstanding companies and competing against teams from other prestigious business schools."

The high placement in the competition earned the team a $5,000 prize. UNM Anderson is at the beginning of an 18-month construction project that will result in a brand new building. The earned prize money will support the Rick and Debbie Johnson Marketing Lab once it reopens in the new McKinnon Center for Management in fall of 2018.