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Area High School Students Compete in MCC's 2018 Marketing Challenge

[Tuesday, April 17, 2018]


Cary-Grove Team 1 captured first place in McHenry County College’s 2018 Marketing Challenge. Pictured are, from left, Patrick Miller and Wally Marsh. Not pictured are: Collin DiMaggio and Jonathan Norman. Woodstock High School finished second and Cary-Grove Team 3 placed third.

As a growing number of people watch movies at home, movie attendance has waned. At the McHenry County College (MCC) 2018 Marketing Challenge, top marketing students from area high schools presented ideas for Classic Cinemas to generate more audience member, especially teenagers through young adults. After surveying 200 high school students and community members through social media chat sites, a team of Cary-Grove High School students created a marketing plan to attract more 16-30-year-olds to get out of the house to watch movies with their friends at Classic Cinemas.

For Cary-Grove Team 1, their marketing prowess earned them first place in MCC’s 2018 High School Marketing Challenge, where 70 students from seven area high schools competed to create the best marketing plan for Classic Cinemas, this year’s sponsor. Woodstock High School placed second and Cary-Grove Team 3 placed third in the competition sponsored by the MCC Business Department.

Students researched demographics, psychographics and conducted a SWOT analysis for Classic Cinemas, which has 14 theaters throughout northern Illinois. Students were judged on company knowledge, creativity, visuals, and media strategy, including the use of social media targeted at young adults, high school students and families. Students’ ideas to attract audiences included enhancing the name recognition, expanding social media advertising, themed events, including discounted date night and a school spirit night, and ordering refills on a phone app.

MCC business instructor Sherry Ridge said the goal of the event is to expose high school students and future business leaders in marketing to real-life experiences and to have fun.

“We added more judges who are professionals in the marketing field who gave the teams expert feedback,” she said.

“We were very impressed with the ideas, presentations and professionalism of the students,” Ridge said. “We’re happy to collaborate with the high schools and look forward to next year’s competition.”

The event also gives high school students the opportunity to network with business leaders, other area high school students and faculty, and MCC instructors and students.

The 2018 Marketing Challenge Champion team includes: Wally Marsh, Patrick Miller, Collin DiMaggio and Jonathan Norman. They took home a traveling trophy and each team member received a certificate for one free three-credit class at MCC.

“I learned how to make a good presentation, how to be professional and I learned what marketing is,” Miller said. “I also liked how we were able to show off our work. We spent two hours rehearsing on the phone the night before.”

“Elizabeth Davies, senior from Harvard High School echoed his comments. “You don’t realize how much goes into a marketing strategy until you actually have to do it.”

Classic Cinema’s marketing director Mark Mazrimas said the winning team from Cary-Grove provided good ideas and presented them well.

“They really did their homework and presented things that were doable, such as the app.,” Mazrimas said. “Their marketing survey was a great way to start out and went beyond Cary—they also included [the city of] McHenry.”

“I’ve been a judge at the last four Marketing Challenges and each one raises the bar—They just keep getting better and better,” Mazrimas added.





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