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  Marketing Case Competition winning team
  The team (from top left): Tad Kittredge, Jonathan Hopkins, Rick FlorJancic, Melissa Washko, Scott Buchanan and Dawn Samaris, all '06  © Photo by David Rosen: Courtesy of Wake Forest University

Kellogg team takes top honors in marketing case competition

A group of six Kellogg School students took first place at the Wake Forest Marketing Case Competition held Feb. 9-11 in Winston-Salem, N.C. The team was one of eight invited to the Wake Forest campus for the final competition following an initial application round.

The finals began with the unveiling of a surprise sponsor: Yahoo! Each team was given 36 hours to develop the next billion-dollar business idea for the search engine company. Unlike the other groups, the Kellogg team adopted a strategy aimed at strengthening Yahoo!'s core competencies as an advertising business. The judges, including the Yahoo! CMO, were impressed by the Kellogg contingent's ability to deliver an idea designed specifically to raise ad revenue.

Scott Buchanan said that the team exemplified the Kellogg spirit during the weekend. Rather than stay up all night finishing their project, all members went to bed well-prepared at a reasonable hour and even found time mid-competition for a touch-football game. By staying rested and continuing to build camaraderie over the weekend, the members could enjoy the overall event as a personal and intellectual experience, rather than merely as a competition.

"When you're having fun," said Buchanan, "that's when you have the most creative ideas."

Senior Associate Dean Robert Korajczyk lauded the team for innovative problem solving that leveraged their experiences both at the Kellogg School and in the business world.

"Their performance is a testament to the hard work of these students and to their skill at applying the tools they've gained at Kellogg," said Korajczyk.

— Chris Van Nostrand

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University