Success of Eastern Michigan University marketing program highlighted in international competition

Two student teams from Eastern Michigan University’s Integrated Marketing Communications graduate program placed first (Gold award) and third (Bronze award) respectively in the 2016 Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge, a competition for students worldwide.

The competition was presented by Marketing EDGE – a national nonprofit organization headquartered in New York City and committed to helping students and shaping the marketing industry of the future as diverse, inclusive and highly skilled.

Conducted since 1986, the Marketing EDGE Collegiate ECHO Challenge provides students with marketing project experience by challenging them to create a campaign for a leading marketer of products or services. Collegiate ECHO sponsors have included such companies as DIRECTV, Domino’s Pizza, SkyMall, Microsoft and Bing.

This year’s competition featured the development of a proposed integrated marketing campaign for Facebook.

Only three graduate awards were presented, with Eastern taking two of them. Eastern’s winners, and their present hometowns are:

Graduate: 1st Place Gold
Anna Arends, West Bloomfield; Anne Swary, Miami, Fla.; Simon Thalmann, Kalamazoo.

Swary, who’s originally from Defiance, Ohio, currently works in the Office of Marketing Communications at Miami Dade College. Thalmann is a digital marketer and writer in the Public Information and Marketing Department at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek. Arends recently moved to the Netherlands.

Graduate: 3rd Place Bronze
Devin Jones, Novi; David Weight, Jackson; Bradley Whitehouse, Saline.

Jones, who’s originally from Riverview, Mich.; works for Amnet Group, an agency partner of Dentsu Aegis Network. Whitehouse, who’s originally from Kalamazoo, works in the Office of Communications & Marketing at the University of Michigan College of Engineering. Weight works as a digital brand strategist at Mott Children’s Hospital.

Matthew Sauber, a professor of marketing and integrated marketing communications at Eastern, served as faculty advisor for both teams. See the Integrated Marketing Communications program website for more details on Eastern’s program.

The undergraduate winners were Temple, Hofstra and James Madison Universities. The winning teams are featured on a special page on the Marketing Edge website.

The 2016 competition was conducted during the 2015-16 academic year, and included teams from the United States, Ecuador and Kuwait. There were more than 225 entries, with judging from 58 professionals across the marketing industry from companies such as Domino’s Pizza, Ernst & Young, Fidelity Investments, The Fossil Group, GlaxoSmithKline and Thomson Reuters.