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By Jessica Baker, Eller Marketing ’15 


The American Marketing Association hosted the finals for its annual Collegiate Case Competition for the 2014-2015 terms this past month. The competition was sponsored by vitaminwater and presented a real-world marketing problem to be solved by each of the 101 schools that entered the competition. Eight of those schools were chosen as finalists to present their idea to the Coca-Cola executives in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 19.

A team of five presenting members with mentor and advisor, Jim McLean, represented the Eller College of Management in the final round of the Collegiate Case Competition in New Orleans. “The competition was an amazing experience. I got to collaborate with a group of incredibly gifted individuals to develop and present a solution to a real world marketing problem,” said team member Drew Matalon (Accounting ’16).

The team fashioned the slogan “enhance your everyday” to facilitate their rebranding strategy for vitaminwater. The comprehensive marketing plan that the presenters created wowed the judges and Eller’s competing team finished in third place.

“Representing Eller on a national scale was a great experience. It brought us closer as a team and really exemplified how Eller gives you a competitive edge that prepares you for your professional career,” said Catherine Lahlouh (Marketing ’15).

The team’s hard work paid off with a $1,000 prize in addition to the award. 

“Being able to go to New Orleans to present our case was one of the highlights of my last semester at the UA. Our team worked hard and it was rewarding to share our insights with vitaminwater and the American Marketing Association,” Allie Rooney (Marketing ’15) said.

The competition was simultaneously held with the 37th Annual International Collegiate Conference where members had the opportunity to gather insight from talented and noteworthy keynote speakers such as Jia Jiang and Michael McCullough. “The entire experience was absolutely indescribable,” said Jessie Baker (Marketing ’15). “I was pushed to excel in an extremely competitive environment which allowed me to grow as a presenter as well as a professional. I gained invaluable knowledge from the speakers throughout the conference, and developed an encouraging and irreplaceable relationship with my team in a city full of rich history.”

Top photo of the winning AMA team courtesy Eller College. Pictured L-R: Andrew Matalon, Catherine Lahlouh, Jessica Baker,  Allie Rooney, and Emily Laciak.