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Press Release

UNM Anderson Marketing Students Shine on a National Stage

December 16, 2016

UNM Anderson Marketing students with Prof. John Benavidez.(Albuquerque, NM) Marketing students at the UNM Anderson School of Management had a strong showing against 19 other universities in the Acura ILX Marketing Challenge.

The Anderson group of senior marketing students was one of only three teams to make it to the finals along with Johns Hopkins University and the University of Rhode Island. Their integrated marketing campaign for the 2017 Acura ILX titled "Live Life in High Gear" featured branded events, marketing collateral, digital signage, online video content, and social media using a $2,000 budget provided by Acura. "Live Life in High Gear" showcased Acura's performance technologies and celebrated the on-the-go lifestyle of the millennial target audience.

"This program was a unique and exciting opportunity for our students," said Professor John Benavidez. "It enabled them to apply concepts learned in the classroom to real world marketing challenges. We are honored that Acura, an automotive industry leader, elected to partner with our university on this education-industry initiative."

Professor Benavidez and students Kyle Biederwolf, Gisel Breceda, Shannon Lynch, John Orr, and Somi Phaybouth traveled to California to present their campaign at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. this week. Acura executives praised the team's presentation skills, target market profile, creative execution, and understanding of the Acura brand before awarding the UNM team with second place honors.

"The Anderson School is very proud of Professor Benavidez and the team," said Dean Craig White. "The marketing students continue to be successful in interacting with outstanding companies and competing against teams from other prestigious business schools."

The high placement in the competition earned the team a $5,000 prize. UNM Anderson is at the beginning of an 18-month construction project that will result in a brand new building. The earned prize money will support the Rick and Debbie Johnson Marketing Lab once it reopens in the new McKinnon Center for Management in fall of 2018.


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.