BY Vicky Brito
EDINBURG – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Collegiate Chapter of the American Marketing Association garnered awards in the AMA annual competition in New Orleans.
Oscar Ramos, team leader for the UTRGV Chapter of the AMA, was awarded the first ever Diversity Leadership Scholarship in the amount of $7,500, developed to honor minorities in marketing. This is the first year this award has been in place.
Ramos was runner up in the AMA EBSCO Marketing Scholar Award, which honors excellence in leadership and carries an award of $2,000, and was one of two individuals awarded a Coca Cola Company Summer Internship, for this summer in Atlanta. There, he will serve as a Global Marketing Intern, working alongside marketing executives at the company.
Ramos submitted applications prior to the conference, including transcripts, letters of recommendations and a personal statement of intent.
Additionally, UTRGV AMA Chapter member Jon Garcia was awarded Honorable Mention in the Perfect Pitch Competition, where he had 90 seconds to “pitch” why he should gain an interview at U.S. Aerotek, a top recruiting agency.
As a group, the UTRGV AMA Chapter was named a Top 25 Chapter, out of 365 chapters nationwide, based on an annual report the team submitted prior to the conference.
On Sept. 1, participating chapters were issued a real-case scenario from the sponsor company – this year, The Hershey Company. The case this year was for each team to develop a marketing solution for a new mint chewing product. The UTRGV team was named a Top 10 finalist.
Of the 10 finalists, the UTRGV Chapter shared a six-way tie for third. Temple University in Philadelphia took first place; second-place winners were University of Pennsylvania, Texas State University and Ferris State University in Michigan.
he other third-place winners were British Columbia Institute of Technology, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Chatham University, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and University of Wisconsin Whitewater.
The participating UTRGV AMA team consists of Ramos, Gloria Ensinia, Fuad Chagollan, Daniel Warner, Julio Salinas and David Perez.
Ramos said it feels fantastic to have done so well in this national competition.
“It was a great opportunity to represent our school, our chapter and our department in the national competition,” he said. “All the work paid off. We worked hard from Sept. 1 to the last day of the conference.”
Case solutions must be kept confidential due to AMA rules. For this year’s case, Hershey was looking for a proposal that would develop awareness of and marketing for Cool Blast, a product that launched in 2015. The ideas were meant to be targeted at millennials.
“Each chapter had to create an integrated marketing communication strategy, or some marketing plan, to address the situation that Hershey’s was asking us to consider,” Ramos said. “We had a budget that we needed to work out the numbers for. We had to create a timeline, research focus groups, and use the marketing tactics we learn in class. It was very beneficial to us to implement them in the case.”
Hershey may or may not use the strategies presented by the Collegiate Chapters, Ramos said, but they definitely will pay attention to the strategies of those who placed first, second and third.
“This will be beneficial for Hershey because they are obtaining all these fresh ideas from chapters made up of millennials,” Ramos said.
Dr. Reto Felix, AMA Chapter adviser and UTRGV assistant professor of marketing, is pleased with the team’s accomplishments.
“I am very honored, happy and proud of the team. We have definitely exceeded all our objectives,” he said.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION
The AMA Collegiate Case Competition is an annual, international contest open to undergraduate teams at schools that have an affiliated AMA Collegiate Chapter.
The purpose of the competition is to provide AMA Collegiate members an opportunity to work together on a problem that illustrates a real marketing situation, and to provide competition sponsors direct contact with marketing students who have possible real-world solutions to a marketing problem.