AMA team raises bar

While most Liberty University students were in class Thursday, Liberty’s American Marketing Association (AMA) Case Competition team was presenting a marketing plan to Nintendo of America senior managers in New Orleans.

Second place — Marketing team excels at international competition. Photo provided

The AMA began in 1937 with the merger of the National Association of Teachers of Advertising and the American Marketing Society. Now comprised of more than 40,000 members and more than 350 collegiate chapters, the AMA holds a large annual conference centering around the Case Competition.

“The primary purpose of the Case Competition is two-fold: to provide AMA collegiate members the opportunity to work together on a student problem that typifies a real, working marketing situation and to provide the Case Competition sponsor with the very best marketing students,” according to the AMA’s website.

“Very best” indeed. The seven students of Liberty’s team placed second in the competition out of more than 160 teams that applied. Only the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater team scored higher. Team member Ryan Marrero called them “Serious Fortune 500 material.”

The judges, Nintendo of America senior managers, were impressed with Liberty’s presentation.

“We had a core message that set us apart,” Marrero said. “(The judges) loved it.”

Marrero and teammate Gary Ashby Jr. had lunch with one of the judges the day after their presentation.

“The experience was a great opportunity not just to see the hard work and creativity pay off, but for us to glorify God,” Ashby said.

Ashby said a major achievement was tying the University of Pennsylvania-Wharton Business School and British Columbia Institute of Technology. Wharton won the last five competitions and is an Ivy League research university in a research-based competition.

Faculty advisor Dr. Kendrick Brunson compared Liberty’s marketing plan with Whitewater’s.

“We were able to see their presentation and agree that they had an award-winning presentation,” Brunson said. “There were some aspects of our plan that I believe are better but that is the nature of this competition. The ultimate winner is the team that most closely aligns with the judges’ viewpoint, something that we cannot determine in advance.”

Though the team did not place first, the sponsor may choose aspects of their plan to put into practice.

“I told the team members that it is entirely possible that they may see some of their ideas in future Nintendo promotional campaigns,” Brunson continued. “I am extremely proud of the students’ efforts and believe they have learned many valuable lessons that will help them succeed in their future careers.”

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