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Press Release


May 19, 2011

(Albuquerque, NM) Undergraduate marketing students from the UNM Anderson School of Management took top honors in Energy Tomorrow: America's Challenge, a national marketing case study competition sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute (API) that included 27 teams from universities across the country.

Joel Castor, Dylan Crouch, Templer Horry, John Phan, and Ruby Watkins
The winning UNM team of Joel Castor, Dylan Crouch, Templer Horry, John Phan, and Ruby Watkins competed in the finals against students from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Ball State University's Miller College of Business on May 12 in San Francisco. The schools were judged by a panel of marketing communication executives from leading companies in the oil and gas industry including BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Shell Oil.

John Benavidez and Dr. Catherine Roster mentored the students throughout the semester-long competition that was conducted as part of Benavidez's senior- level course in promotion management. Beating top-flight colleges and universities in national competitions is nothing new to the Anderson School marketing program. In recent years, the program has been victorious in competitions sponsored by Cadillac, Subaru of America and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"These competitions are a great educational experience for our students," said Anderson Dean Doug Brown. "They enable them to associate with others who are at the top of their game."

Participating teams were tasked with developing a comprehensive integrated marketing communications plan for the American Petroleum Institute that effectively educates 18-25 year olds on national energy issues. In addressing the task, the UNM team conducted a national research study to gather key insights on the target market's perceptions of energy, their consumption patterns, and media preferences. Using their research findings, the students developed a plan that included a community generated blog, a viral video, indoor and outdoor interactive ads, guerrilla marketing tactics, and strategies on maximizing social media. The campaign message - Millennials are empowered to take charge of the conversation on energy issues - linked all the campaign tactics together.

The judges applauded the UNM team for their solid research, creative strategy, and professionalism. Marketing students Wesley Kress, Palmi Moller, and Nanette Wittenberg also traveled to San Francisco to support the team.

The first-place award came with a cash prize of $5,000. The money will help support the soon-to-be named Rick and Debbie Johnson Marketing Center, a state-of-the-art studio and learning facility for students enrolled in upper-division marketing courses at the Anderson School. The new name will be official on August 4, honoring the couple who started the Rick Johnson and Company ad agency in Albuquerque in the 70s and beat all the odds by making it one of the top firms in the Western United States.

Also on August 4th, A Taste of Anderson, Creative Kitchen: A Culinary Event to benefit the Rick and Debbie Johnson Marketing Center will be held at University House. Contact Natalie Mead at 505-277-6413 or to purchase tickets to attend this exciting event featuring gourmet cuisine from some of Albuquerque's finest restaurants, wine, champagne, desserts, live music, and a silent auction.

Proceeds from the benefit will help purchase new equipment and technology for marketing students. The Marketing Center was created with seed funding through the generosity of Anderson Marketing and Ethics Professors Linda and O.C. Ferrell who remain committed to student and industry excellence.

Energy Tomorrow: America's Challenge was designed and managed by Orinda, Calif. based EdVenture Partners (EVP). EVP is the only marketing education consultancy in the United States that brings together educators, students, and clients for mutual collaboration and benefit.

About Nvent Marketing Partnership
Nvent Marketing Partnership is a student-run marketing communications agency at the UNM Anderson School of Management. The agency provides students with the unique opportunity to develop, implement, and evaluate integrated marketing communications campaigns for public, not-for-profit, and government organizations. Nvent is supported by the Anderson School of Management Foundation and the agency's clients. The agency is housed in the Rick and Debbie Johnson Marketing Center, a state-of-the-art facility that functions as a lab, studio, and collaborative learning space. For more information on partnership opportunities with the agency, email or call (505) 277-6471.


The Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico is dedicated to excellence in professional management education. At the Anderson School, faculty, staff, and students are committed to shaping the intellect and character of the next generation of business leaders, advancing the knowledge and practice of management, promoting economic development, and building a vibrant intellectual community that serves the highest and best interests of all our stakeholders.

The School was founded in 1947 and now offers more than a dozen concentrations at the BBA and MBA levels and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in the top 20% of business schools in the nation. The School is funded by the State of New Mexico and further support is generated by The Anderson School of Management Foundation. For more information, the public can visit, email, or call (505) 277-6471.