Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass places 2nd in NASCAR marketing competition

By Katie Landeck

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A team of five University of Massachusetts seniors won second place in the third annual nationwide NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion competition this weekend.

The competition – which over 20 schools participated in – involved two case studies where students were required to use multimedia to promote the sport of racing and a race viewing party that M&M’s sponsored. Teams participated in each stage of the event independently and never were in the same room.

According to UMass event coordinator Beth Grupsmith, UMass received third place for the first case study and fifth place for the second case study. They were one of two teams to place in the top five both times, and they won the race viewing round to come in second overall.

The UMass team, which consisted of Grupsmith, Amber Guinther, Corey Bockus, Peter Saunders and Rich Goldstein were required to submit an event summary, photos and video of the party for M&M’s and NASCAR to judge.

Since M&M’s was the sponsor and racing is not very popular in New England, according to Grupsmith, the team decided to incorporate several M&M’s themed games into their showing of the Good Sam Club 500 Race at Talladega Superspeedway at The Pub in Amherst Center on Oct. 23 to encourage people to come.

During the event titled “M&M’s Makes Race Day More Fun,” people could play M&M inspired games such as corn hole, seeing how many M&M’s people could toss back and forth and seeing how many M&M’s people could throw into a cup in a row in addition to watching the game. According to Grupsmith, 294 people came to the event.

“We had a great time. It was a blast,” said Grupsmith. “It was extremely successful.”

This was the first time that UMass participated in the competition. Students worked on it as an independent study under the direction of sports manager associate professor Stephen McKelvey.

According to Grupsmith, the team’s goal was to place in the top three since this was UMass’s first time competing.

“We had only hoped we would and wanted a top three placement in the end at the very least … before they announced the grand prize winner we were holding our breath,” said Grupsmith. “We found out that we actually had come in second place by less than three points. For a first-time team, that is absolutely incredible and better than any other team can say.”

The teams were judged based on the feasibility, presentation and creativity of their projects according to Grupsmith, who did not know the exact criteria by which the projects were judged.

“We all had the same guidelines, so it was just who produces the best of the same product,” said Grupsmith.

By structuring the competition this way, the contest mirrored the real world business structure where different companies bid for jobs by presenting their visions, according to Grupsmith.

“Participating in this was as real world as it gets,” said Grupsmith. “We were essentially a sports agency for NASCAR working under strict deadlines.”

The University of Central Florida won the competition.

Katie Landeck can be reached at [email protected]

 

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