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December 1, 2016

Nebraska Business Students Knock-out Opponents at Yahoo Competition

Nebraska Business Students Knock-out Opponents at Yahoo Competition
The winning team. From left: Franco, Nelson, Paxton and Stevens
Marketing students from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration triumphed at the inaugural Yahoo Advertising Knock-out Challenge held at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Senior marketing and advertising majors Megan Nelson from Newman Grove, Nebraska, and Hannah Paxton from Apex, North Carolina, collaborated with UNO students Joe Franco and Elizabeth Stevens to create the winning team.

The challenge for teams included identifying a target audience and developing a marketing plan to get more people playing Yahoo Fantasy Football. The winning team impressed a panel of faculty, Yahoo professionals and local business professionals with their presentation. Their business plan involved using social media and partnering with Amazon’s Alexa to encourage more families to use the Yahoo Fantasy Football app.

Students competed against the clock, using knowledge of public relations, advertising campaigns and media buys to create their plans. Four teams competed, some working late into the night.

Rob Simon, associate professor of practice of marketing, believes the competition benefited students by giving them a new challenge.

“It gave marketing students a different experience being paired with advertising students from UNO and UNL,” said Simon. “The students worked on cutting edge digital marketing platforms for their projects. They spent a day working at Yahoo headquarters in Omaha to develop a plan to get more millennial interest and participation in the Yahoo Fantasy Football app.”

He noted the ability to combine disciplines allows students to be better prepared for the job market and how working with Yahoo also gave them a unique perspective.

“The students all enjoyed the competition and said the teams were some of the best they participated in during college. Combining their marketing and advertising skills with students they did not know made for rewarding learning experiences. It is also very practical work experience to find out what you would be doing at a company like Yahoo,” he said.

The second place team featured two other UNL students – Haley Schepers, a senior marketing major from Adel, Iowa, and Linsey Armstrong, a senior advertising major from Scribner, Nebraska. Their plan devised a Yahoo Fantasy Football kit provided to companies looking to hold fantasy football leagues internally.

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