Booth students claim international prize in marketing contest

Booth students won $75,000 for their plan to market pantyhose.

By Tiantian Zhang

A team of MBA students at the University’s Booth School of Business had a “leg up” on the competition and won an international case contest as first-time entrants to the 22nd Annual Marketing Summit hosted by the Center for Retail Innovation at Wake Forest University earlier this month.

The summit, which took place February 18, required MBA and undergraduate students to devise strategies for real-life marketing situations, including one for hosiery, in two cases written by Wake Forest business students. A panel of industry experts chose the winner after a three-day competition.

Booth’s seven-member team won the $75,000 cash prize and the Cheerwine Cup, awarded to the competition’s champion. Booth team member Christina Maria DesVaux also received the summit’s MVP award and a $1,000 cash prize. The team’s winning marketing plan for Hanes Brand, Inc.’s hosiery division utilized a data-driven approach to solve the company’s problem of low consumer demand.

“We took a lot of time researching and identifying who the targeted consumers are. And we made our suggestions based on the trend of consumer behavior,” DesVaux said.

Consumer research conducted at Walmart and Target also helped the students prepare for the competition, said team member Tom Batten.

Team member Sinem Guzelce, who competed in marketing for the first time, enjoyed the novelty of the experience.

“Compared to banking and consulting, I can get to the core of the consumers and work more closely with them,” he said.

The team divided the winnings evenly and most members plan to use their shares on travel. Batten, however, will use his portion of the prize money to replace a car that was stolen on the Midway.