Sunday, December 12, 2010


New York, NY — The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) today announced the winners of the 2010 DMEF Collegiate ECHO Direct/Interactive Marketing Challenge, whose content was provided by Microsoft Advertising. The 2010 competition was conducted during the Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 semesters, and included entries on undergraduate and graduate levels. This year for the first time, students from around the globe participated in the Challenge, which previously was open only to students from the US.

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, the marketing challenges centered on Bing, Microsoft’s decision search engine. Each team, working with a theoretical budget of $1 million, was challenged either to: 1) increase brand awareness for Bing; or 2) garner 250,000 new downloads of the MSN toolbar powered by Bing. Teams were strongly encouraged to use direct/interactive media channels, especially in the social media and digital arenas.

The winners of the DMEF’s 2010 Collegiate ECHO Challenge are:

  • Gold (1st place)/Undergraduate: Salve Regina University
  • Gold (1st place)/Graduate: Eastern Michigan University
  • Silver (2nd place)/Undergraduate: Drake University
  • Silver (2nd place)/Graduate: Eastern Michigan University
  • Bronze (3rd Place)/Undergraduate: Pace University
  • Bronze (3rd Place)/Graduate: Pace University

“Overall, the students’ campaigns tackling the Bing case study were impressive,” said Linda Gharib, account manager, Microsoft Advertising. “In particular, we were thrilled to see the originality, professionalism, and practical applicability of the media plans and marketing strategies. It was a pleasure to partner with the DMEF to scale the program internationally and to provide students with this great learning experience.”

“Providing practical marketing cases to give students a glimpse into the front lines of business is what this program is all about, and this year’s digitally focused Collegiate ECHO Challenge was one of our best, thanks to this year's sponsor Microsoft Advertising,” said DMEF President Terri L. Bartlett. “This program is a win for students, academics and the corporate sponsor alike, allowing students to put education theory into practice and giving students a taste of real-world experiences in the workplace. We thank Microsoft Advertising for the impressive challenges they provided for 2009-2010.”

Gold Award-winning undergraduate team members from Salve Regina University split a cash prize of $2,000 and received X-Boxes from Microsoft Advertising. Undergraduate Silver Award winners from Drake University split a cash prize of $1,000, and the undergraduate Bronze Award winners split a $500 cash prize. The graduate Gold Award-winning team members received X boxes from Microsoft Advertising.

Collegiate ECHO Competition sponsors over its 25-year history have included such prestigious companies as Pitney Bowes, ING DIRECT, Publishers Clearing House, Mazda North American Operations, Bank One, Ford Motor Company, and Hallmark Cards.

For additional information about the DMEF, visit www.directworks.org.

About Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF)

Headquartered in New York City, the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation (DMEF) works to attract, educate, and place top college students in the business of direct/interactive marketing and, thereby, expanding and enriching the talent pool of trained, market-ready direct marketers. Established in 1966 by members of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) who wanted to give something back to the community, DMEF is today a separate, 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that is supported solely by tax-deductible contributions from individuals, companies, and regional clubs and associations. Funds raised go toward a broad range of world-class educational programs.

Since its founding, thousands of students have taken advantage of DMEF’s educational programs, entering the field with the competitive edge of being “workplace-ready.” Many have gone on to become today’s direct marketing leaders, an indication of the Foundation’s success. In addition, more than 1,800 professors have participated in DMEF programs. Thanks in significant part to the Foundation’s four decades of work, today approximately 255 colleges and universities offer courses in direct/interactive marketing, 31 of which now offer specific direct marketing degrees and certificate programs. For additional information about the DMEF, its mission, and its programs, visit www.directworks.org.

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Sue R.E. Geramian