Marketing challenge for students provided by DIRECTV;
Top honors go 
to students from Temple University and Eastern Michigan University
NEW YORK — August 6, 2015 — Marketing EDGE, the only national nonprofit of its kind solely committed to engage professors and college students in the business of marketing, has announced the winners of its 2015 Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge, a competition for students which was provided this year by DIRECTV. Altogether, six student teams – three from undergraduate programs and three from graduate programs – were honored for devising a proposed integrated marketing campaign to help DIRECTV increase refer-a-friend program participation among its existing customers.
Marketing EDGE awarded $8,500 in scholarships to schools that fielded winning undergraduate teams, including $5,000 to Temple University, which took first place and a Gold Collegiate ECHO; $2,500 to University of Arkansas; which took second place (Silver Collegiate ECHO), and $1,000 to James Madison University, which took third place (Bronze Collegiate ECHO). In addition, $3,500 in cash prizes went to the winning undergraduate student teams.  Among graduate teams, separate groups of students from Eastern Michigan University won the Gold and the Bronze Collegiate ECHOs respectively, while a team from Loyola University Chicago took the Silver Collegiate ECHO.
Launched in 1986, the Marketing EDGE Collegiate ECHO Challenge provides college students with real-world experience by challenging them to create a marketing campaign for a leading marketer of products or services.  Over its 29-year history, Collegiate ECHO sponsors have included such prestigious companies as Domino’s Pizza, SkyMall, Microsoft Bing, dELiA*s and charity: water, among others.
This year’s marketing challenge centered on DIRECTV, one of the world's leading providers of digital television entertainment services.  Each team, using an integrated marketing approach and working with a theoretical budget of $1 million, was challenged to create an integrated marketing campaign with a goal of increasing the number of subscriptions that are driven through DIRECTV’s Refer-a-Friend program.
“Nearly all brands seek to grow and engage their existing customers more closely, and future marketing professionals need to learn to devise such strategies to launch and advance their careers,” said Marketing EDGE President Terri L. Bartlett. “We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to partner with DIRECTV through our Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge this past school year, to offer college students nationwide a dynamic opportunity to put marketing theory into practice.  Of course, we will be watching to see how the students’ strategies and tactics may be used in campaigns going forward.”
“DIRECTV was proud to partner with EDGE as the sponsor of this year’s ECHO Challenge,” said Sondra Wellmerling, senior director of marketing at DIRECTV. “We were impressed with the quality and level of strategic thinking presented among the entries which clearly demonstrated an understanding of integrated marketing. A job well done to all of the participants and special congratulations to the finalists.”
The 2015 competition was conducted during the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters. Hundreds of student teams from dozens of universities across the U.S. participated in this year’s Challenge.
The winners of the Marketing EDGE 2015 Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge are (for complete listings including honorable mentions visit ):
Gold (1st Place)
Temple University (Philadelphia, PA)
Members: Bridget Doyle, Tatiana Drye, Kaitlin O'Connell, Kia Street
Faculty Advisor:   Chuck McLeester
Silver (2nd Place)
University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR)
Members: Mary Hargraves, Allie Kathol, Brittnie Simon, Griffin Templeton
Faculty Advisor:  Ignatius Fosu
Bronze (3rd Place)
James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA)
Members: Alex Dixon, Kelsey Hinkle, John Bassford, Kevin Harmon
Faculty Advisor:   Theresa Clarke
Gold (1st Place)
Eastern Michigan University (Ypsilanti, MI)
Members: Torianne Alston, Jennifer McDermitt, Erica Purdue, Duane Sprague
Faculty Advisor:   Matthew Sauber
Silver (2nd Place)
Loyola University (Chicago, IL)
Members:  Ruimin Gong, Xiaoqi Lu, Lingfan Ni, Fan "Rachel" Pan
Faculty Advisor:   Mary Ann McGrath
Bronze (3rd Place)
Eastern Michigan University (Ypsilanti, MI)
Members: Adam Berkshire, Edison Hubert, Catherine McMacken, Margarita Vakhlis
Faculty Advisor:   David Marold
“It was an honor for me to work with such a talented group of students,” said Chuck McLeester, adjunct marketing professor at Temple University. “They earned this win with their dedication, hard work and persistence. It was particularly gratifying for me to see them embrace direct marketing principles like test design and acquisition cost, concepts that aren’t normally covered in traditional advertising programs. That’s one of the great things about the Collegiate ECHO competition; it provides the opportunity for students to learn these principles and apply them to a real client.”
“The Collegiate ECHO Challenge is an excellent experiential learning opportunity for students to get immersed in developing marketing campaign for real-world clients,” said Matthew Sauber, professor of marketing at Eastern Michigan University.  “Our graduate students in the IMC [Integrated Marketing Communications] program at Eastern Michigan University embraced the 2014-2015 Challenge excelled with dedication, perseverance, and professionalism.  Direct 4 (the winning team) managed to work on the project cohesively as part of a seven-and a-half week online class in direct marketing.  I am very proud of their accomplishment.”
DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) is one of the world's leading providers of digital television entertainment services. Through its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in the United States, Brazil, Mexico and other countries in Latin America, DIRECTV provides digital television service to more than 20 million customers in the United States and more than 18 million customers in Latin America. DIRECTV offers more than 285 channels with more than 170 HD channels in Dolby-Digital® 5.1 theater-quality sound, access to exclusive programming, and the most comprehensive collection of sports programming available anywhere, including NFL SUNDAY TICKET, NHL® CENTER ICE®, and NBA LEAGUE PASS. 
About Marketing EDGE
Headquartered in New York City, Marketing EDGE works to Educate, Develop, Grow, and Employ college students in the field of marketing, thereby expanding and enriching the talent pool of market-ready professionals. Established in 1966 by members of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) who wanted to give something back to the community, Marketing EDGE continues to be an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that is supported solely by tax-deductible contributions from individuals, companies and foundations. Funds raised throughout the year support a broad range of world-class educational programs and scholarships. Since its founding, thousands of students and academics have taken advantage of the Marketing EDGE programs.  Many have gone on to become today’s marketing leaders, an indication of the organization’s success.    For additional information, visit:
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Media Contact for Marketing EDGE
Chet Dalzell

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