BYU Marriott Students Win First Place in Case Competition

PROVO, Utah – Dec 22, 2021 – BYU Marriott School of Business marketing students won first place at the 2021 MarketStar Sales and Analytics Champion Competition at Utah State University (USU). The team members were awarded $4,000 in prize money for their victory and have caught the attention of recruiters and potential employers with their award-winning work. 

The competition was held October 7–8, 2021, and aimed to provide marketing, sales, and data analytics students with experience creating solutions for corporate marketing challenges. The multi-university event gave students the opportunity to apply their business knowledge in real-world settings. 

The winning team consisted of marketing seniors Erika Hansen, from Oakley, Utah; Dustin Leonard, from Edmond, Oklahoma; Cali Johnson, from Grace, Idaho; and first-year MBA student Kabir Rajput, from New Delhi. Each individual was selected from the BYU Sales Club to compete against sales programs from other Utah universities.  

Competitors were challenged to design a marketing plan to increase product sales in college bookstores for Logitech, a multibrand consumer electronics company. In order to create a cohesive presentation, each BYU Marriott team member conducted their own background research on Logitech’s products and marketing history and brought their findings to team meetings leading up to the competition.  

Johnson shares that the effort and sacrifice of each individual were crucial to the success of the group. “Each team member is a full-time student and is working part-time yet still dedicated every spare moment to succeeding in this competition,” she says. “Most nights our team worked until three in the morning so that our presentation would be as polished as possible. We put forth the effort to go the extra mile and take advantage of this opportunity to showcase our abilities.” 

After a week of preparation, the students finalized their marketing campaign and traveled to Logan, Utah, for the competition. Each team had 20 minutes to present their marketing strategy to a panel of representatives from both Logitech and MarketStar, a global sales and marketing company. After the first series of presentations, the BYU Marriott team was selected to present its plan in the final round of the competition.  

At the end of the competition, the judges awarded BYU Marriott students with first place and credited their teamwork as the factor that led them to success. “The judges’ feedback highlighted how each member of our group contributed equally to the presentation,” Hansen said. “We capitalized on our different strengths and gave one another constructive feedback when practicing. Each of us had the best intentions for our team’s success, which was reflected in our presentation.”  

In addition to the team’s first-place win, three BYU Marriott students won individual awards recognizing their personal abilities. Hansen won first place in the personal pitch competition, where she had one minute to tell four different companies why they should hire her by highlighting her skills and strengths, and Johnson was recognized as the MVP of the sales competition for standing out to the judges during her team’s presentation. Leonard received the Rising Star award recognizing his growth in marketing.  

As a result of the team’s first-place finish, each of the students have also received several networking and interview opportunities. “Companies have started reaching out to me as a winner of the case competition,” Johnson says. “Winning first place has opened a door for opportunities that I never would have dreamed of.” 

Faculty advisor BJ Allen, assistant professor of marketing and global supply chain at BYU Marriott, has high hopes for BYU Marriott’s future success at competitions. “This is the first time students from the sales club have competed in this competition, yet they won first place,” he says. “Despite competing against several prestigious sales programs, these students won due to their motivation and drive to surpass expectations and set a precedence for future excellence and success.”  

BYU Marriott marketing senior Cali Johnson. Image courtesy of Cali Johnson.
BYU Marriott marketing senior Cali Johnson. Photo courtesy of Cali Johnson.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kaylee Hepburn