SU NASCAR Kinetics team focused on first-place finish in national marketing competition
NASCAR was looking for high-achieving, innovative students who thrive on creativity, problem solving and teamwork to participate in a national marketing competition it launched in 2009 to foster brand awareness throughout campus communities.
Falk College sport management instructor Patrick Ryan knew his students in SPM 490,v”Independent Study: NASCAR,” would be up to the challenge. And he was right. The five-student team recently placed at the top in the first phase of the NASCAR Kinetics Marketing in Motion competition that partners students with NASCAR professionals to work through real-world business challenges and opportunities. With its recent first-place case-study finish, the SU NASCAR Kinetics team has positioned itself as one of the top teams in the competition. This is the first time SU has placed in the top in any of the NASCAR Kinetics competition phases.
The winning school’s team receives an all-expense-paid trip to Miami to watch a NASCAR race, along with individual recommendation letters from a NASCAR executive that will be highly valued by students. The SU student team is focused on a first-place finish and is already gaining tremendous hands-on, resume-building experience in areas including event planning, marketing and project management.
Part of the team’s success in the competition is based on the execution of a viewing party, which is taking place Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Inn Complete on SU’s South Campus. Team members organizing the free event include sport management majors Charma Harris, Carlos Ruiz and Alvaro Voelker, broadcast and digital journalism major Carly Signor and television-radio-film major Tyler Kenly.
The viewing party is open to all SU students, faculty, staff and the local community. When guests arrive at the official NASCAR-sponsored viewing party featuring the Hollywood Casino 400 race, they will be treated to food, games and giveaways for all ages. The viewing party begins at 1 p.m. and will run through the end of the race, which is being televised from the Kansas Speedway. Sponsors to date include Koerner Ford, SU Department of Sport Management and Watkins Glen International.
NASCAR developed the NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion program to expose college students to, and educate them about, the NASCAR brand. Students leverage techniques and lessons taught in the classroom to complete case studies and projects. Each student chosen for the NASCAR Kinetics program is tasked with fostering brand awareness throughout their college and the community. Students who have taken part in the program credit it for giving them a leg up on the competition for internships and jobs in the sports industry.
The invitation to participate in the program is a competitive process. Once selected to participate, each student team receives case studies that affect NASCAR, its sponsors or the tracks. Students must create original, innovative solutions posed as part of each case study. Two case studies account for 40 percent of the competition scores, with the remaining 60 percent represented by the documentation detailing the viewing party’s event plan, execution and exposure, including social media applications. Winners will be announced later this month.