Teams from high schools in Fulton, Eldon, Mexico and Saint Elizabeth will face off on Wednesday in the finals of a marketing competition sponsored by the William Woods University and MFA-Oil/Break Time.
At stake are thousands of dollars in prizes and scholarships and the chance to have the team’s creative work seen by potential Break Time customers throughout Missouri.
In September, teams from 18 high schools were invited to put their talents to work tackling the “real world” advertising, marketing and sales promotion challenges of Break Time, a service of MFA Oil.
Of those 18, only eight pursued the challenge—Mexico, Saint Elizabeth, Blair Oaks and North Callaway in the small schools division; Eldon, Fulton, Hickman and Rock Bridge in the large schools division.
Each team was given a hypothetical budget of $30,000 to be spent during a three-month period. Consultation with WWU business professors and Break Time corporate management was provided. Finalists were selected after written plans were submitted Nov. 21.
On Wednesday, starting at 7 p.m., the top two teams in each division will make final oral presentations to judges in Dulany Auditorium on the William Woods University campus.
First Place winners in each division will receive $1,500 cash prizes for the team, $3,000 individual WWU scholarships and $200 for their school’s marketing program. (Prizes for second place are $1,000, $2,500 and $100, respectively.)
“The project allows students to get a real taste of marketing,” said Brian Lemons, chair of the business division at William Woods.
“It provides an opportunity for them to work as a team to apply what they read about in a book,” said David Forster, WWU associate professor of business, who works with Lemons on the project.
This year’s challenge was to improve Break Time’s image and revenue among high school students (ages 13-18). Since each team has created realistic marketing materials, MFA has agreed to produce and run the best creative messages seen during the competition.
This is the fourth year that William Woods has sponsored the marketing competition for area high schools. Mid-Missouri McDonald’s restaurants owned by Jim Baumgartner co-sponsored the competition for the first three years.