BYU Marriott MBA Students Awarded 3rd Place by Disney and Adobe

PROVO, Utah – Jan 19, 2022 – A team of BYU Marriott School of Business MBA students won third place out of 4,500 teams during the 2021 Adobe Analytics Challenge held throughout the month of November. The students’ success earned them a prize of $6,000 and provided experience in real-world business situations. 

The winning BYU Marriott team consisted of first-year MBA students Christina Bates from Bountiful, Utah; Hannah Harris from Temecula, California; and Brookston Jeppson from Draper, Utah.  

The Adobe Analytics Challenge began with a digital kickoff meeting on September 8, 2021, when teams of students from around the world were introduced to representatives from Disney, Adobe’s partner for the competition. Teams were challenged to evaluate Disney’s e-commerce site, shopdisney.com, and analyze specific user behaviors on the website using the Adobe Analytics software.  

After receiving instructions for the competition, teams received a virtual training of Adobe Analytics. This training was vital because students used the software to gather data and prepare presentations featuring their research, analytics analysis, and recommendations for Disney.  

The members of BYU Marriott’s team each contributed more than 40 hours a week in preparation for the competition. This time was spent learning the Adobe Analytics software and analyzing user behaviors on Disney’s website. “Working with Adobe and Disney helped me learn how to use data to break down an ambiguous problem to inform marketing decisions,” says Jeppson.   

Team members presented their data to representatives from Adobe using three different buyer personas representing individuals visiting Disney’s website. “We identified three categories of webpage visitors with different needs and reasons for using shopdisney.com,” explains Harris. “Our team connected each buyer persona with a familiar Disney character to help the Disney representatives resonate with the data we were presenting. Newcomers to the website were represented by Goofy, future customers by Donald Duck, and loyal Disney fans by Minnie Mouse.”  

Presentations were judged and evaluated based on teams’ proposed business objectives, success metrics, and recommendations for improvement to Disney’s site. Data had to be gathered using the Adobe Analytics software. After its presentation, the BYU Marriott team was selected by the judges to compete in the final round against six other top teams in the competition. “I am proud of my team for placing third out of 4,500 teams,” says Harris. “I knew we would give our best effort and be successful but I realized that teamwork and creativity is what led our team to succeed.”  

Jeff Dotson, BYU Marriott professor of marketing and faculty advisor for the competition, was impressed by the students’ willingness to work through a variety of challenges to put together an insightful presentation. “BYU Marriott has a reputation for success in this competition and the team’s performance this year continues to build that reputation,” he says. 

BYU Marriott MBA students pictured from left to right: Hannah Harris, Christina Bates, and Brookston Jeppson. Photo courtesy of Christina Bates.
BYU Marriott MBA students pictured from left to right: Hannah Harris, Christina Bates, and Brookston Jeppson. Photo courtesy of Christina Bates.

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