Wednesday, August 29, 2012

International Marketing Challenge for Students Provided by SkyMall

New York, NY — The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) today announced the winners of the 2012 DMEF Collegiate ECHO Direct/Interactive Marketing Challenge, whose content was provided by SkyMall.  DMEF awarded a total of $8,500 in scholarships to the University of Georgia, which swept this year’s competition, with $3,500 in cash prizes going to the winning student teams. 

Conducted since 1986, DMEF’s Collegiate ECHO Challenge provides college students with real-world experience by challenging them to create a marketing campaign for an actual product or service. 

This year’s marketing challenge centered on SkyMall, a multichannel direct marketer offering innovative merchandise through its catalog and website to air travelers.  Each team, working with a theoretical budget of $500,000, was challenged to increase the number of SkyMall purchases per flight, using direct/interactive media channels — especially in the social, mobile, Web, print, and airport media.

“The SkyMall campaign was our most successful Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge to date, providing students with real-world experience as they prepare to enter the marketplace,” said DMEF President Terri L. Bartlett.  “This is just one example of how DMEF works dynamically with organizations in this industry to support, nurture and develop a rich talent pool today and tomorrow.” 

The 2012 competition was conducted during the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 semesters, and included entries on the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Student teams from around the globe participated in the Challenge. 

The winners of the DMEF’s 2012 Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge are:



  • Gold:  University of Georgia 

Team members:  Jessica Berresse, Clayton Cousens, Caroline McConnell, Jessilyn Stoks

Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Griffith


  • Silver:  University of Georgia

Team members:  Baily Davis, Caroline Eddleman, Morgan Masey, Julianna Simonini

Faculty Advisor: Cindy Reynolds


  • Bronze:  University of Georgia

Team members:  Nicole Brabender, Ariel Fenster, Melissa Jackson, Thuong Le

Faculty Advisor: Jooyoung Kim



  • Gold: Baruch College/City University of New York

Team members:  Phil Bellino, Mark Bloch, Thomas Buthorn, Fernando Neyra

Faculty Advisor: Linda Gharib


  • Silver:  Eastern Michigan University

Team members:  Breanne Cremean, Kelle Fraser, Michael Lenzi, Kyle Mattson

Faculty Advisor: David Marold


  • Bronze:  Eastern Michigan University

Team members:  Donald James, Heather Monaghan, Matthew Tomkins

Faculty Advisor: David Marold


“The pleasure my students are taking in this honor means so much to me,” said Jennifer Griffith, University of Georgia’s faculty advisor to the first-place gold team. “It’s a joy to see their pride in their accomplishment.  They learned that creating a campaign is a process, and it’s often an incredibly arduous process, but they also discovered that the light at the end of the tunnel is worth every sleepless night. And they say that’s how it happens in the real world.”

“It was a pleasure to partner with the DMEF and sponsor the Collegiate ECHO awards,” said Theresa McMullan, Vice President of Marketing at SkyMall.  “The entries we received for judging were well thought out, professional, and creative.  The teams did a great job of conveying the fun element of the SkyMall brand in their presentations. It’s great to see the vast talent that exists in our colleges and universities.  Congratulations to all the participants and their instructors.”

Over its 27-year history, Collegiate ECHO Competition sponsors have included such prestigious companies as Pitney Bowes, ING DIRECT, Mazda North American Operations, Ford Motor Company, Hallmark Cards, charity: water, and Microsoft Bing.


About Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF)

Headquartered in New York City, the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) works to attract, educate, and place college students in direct/interactive marketing careers, thereby expanding and enriching the talent pool of trained, market-ready marketers. Established in 1966 by members of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) who wanted to give something back to the community, DMEF continues to be an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that is supported solely by tax-deductible contributions from individuals and companies. These contributions are the lifeblood of the DMEF; funds raised support a broad range of world-class educational programs and scholarships.  For additional information about the DMEF, its mission, and its programs, visit

About SkyMall

SkyMall is a multichannel direct marketer offering high-quality, innovative merchandise from top direct marketers and manufacturers through its SkyMall catalog and website, The SkyMall catalog is seen by approximately 88% of all domestic air passengers reaching more than 650 million air travelers annually. SkyMall also offers turn-key merchandise and gift card solutions for some of the world’s leading loyalty programs. The SkyMall brand is almost universally known among affluent and well-educated travelers who are receptive to innovative, unique products.  Corporate offices are located in Phoenix, Arizona.  SkyMall was founded in 1990.


Susan Taplinger