Annual Marketing Summit attracts top business schools from around the world

Some of the world’s most gifted marketing students will be at the top of their game as they compete for sizable awards and prestige in the Schools of Business 2010 Marketing Summit, a premier annual case competition to be held Thursday, Feb. 4 through Saturday, Feb. 6.

Now in its 20th year, the Marketing Summit is a completely student-run event centered around MBA and undergraduate case competitions. In this year’s MBA competition, eight student teams from top universities have 36 hours to develop a marketing plan based on real-world challenges as presented by IBM, the Marketing Summit’s primary sponsor. The team placing first will receive a cash award of $50,000.

Over the three-day event, students representing Wake Forest and 12 other schools will be joined by corporate leaders, marketing professionals, higher education officials, alumni and peers in a packed schedule of networking, camaraderie and idea exchange highlighted by the flagship case competitions.

The Marketing Forum will include a panel discussion on “Diversity in Corporate America” on Friday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. in Pugh Auditorium in the Benson University Center. The discussion is free and open to the public.

The panel will feature diversity leaders from McDonald’s Corp., IBM, Walmart, PepsiCo and Hewitt Associates, who will discuss the state of diversity and inclusion, the nature of diversity efforts in the current economy, and other timely topics. Steve Reinemund, the dean of the Business Schools and a strong proponent of diversity initiatives, will moderate. The panel discussion is part of the Broyhill Executive Lecture Series, which was established by the Broyhill Family Foundation of Lenoir, NC.

In addition to the cash prize, the winning MBA team will receive a trophy specially designed for the event. Called the “Cheerwine Cup” after its contributing sponsor, the trophy is a bronze sculpture created by Tom Ogburn, a former Wake Forest business professor.

Other sponsors this year are BB&T Corp., which will support the gala; Altria, which will sponsor a student networking event; and BBDO, the logo sponsor.

Wake Forest received 106 applications for this year’s competition and more international schools and teams — 18 — applied this year than in previous years. And, competition will be even more fierce as teams vie for a total of $78,000 in prizes — an increase of 40 percent over last year’s prizes.

The Summit will kick off Thursday night at Deacon Tower at BB&T Field. Friday’s schedule includes a marketing luncheon featuring Michael Silverstein, managing partner for Boston Consulting Group, followed by networking roundtables for students, executives and HR representatives.

Throughout Saturday, student teams will present their cases before panels of judges. Six teams of undergraduate students will also prepare cases, competing for a first-place award of $10,000. The Marketing Summit concludes Saturday, Feb. 6, with a gala, announcements of team winners, and award presentations.

One of the key attributes of the Marketing Summit is the central role performed by students, whether as competitors, leaders or advocates. Emily Willard, a co-chair of the Marketing Summit and a second-year MBA student, values the opportunity to navigate decisions and details involved in bringing people together.

“I am able to share my experience leading teams and planning events in a way that highlights the creativity, character and marketing talents of the Wake Forest student body,” Willard said. “The summit touches so many people that it is bound to be one of the most meaningful and memorable experiences we share during our time here.”

In addition to Wake Forest’s School of Business, other participating programs include, for the MBA competition: University of Notre Dame; The Ohio State University; London Business School; IESE Business School (Barcelona, Spain) Dartmouth College (Tuck); University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; and Brigham Young University.

For the undergraduate competition: University of Maryland; U.S. Military Academy (West Point); University of Toronto; University of Pennsylvania; and Emory University.

Categories: International, School of Business