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GW Faculty Lead 2011 Mid-Atlantic Chevrolet Volt Case Competition

GWSB marketing professor Robert Dyer (left) with Chris Ourisman and Marilyn Liebrenz-Himes (right).

The  Washington, DC-based Direct Marketing Education Foundation (DMEF) runs the annual “Collegiate Maxi Competition” for undergraduate business students in the Mid-Atlantic area.  Marilyn Liebrienz-Himes, George Washington University School of Business marketing professor, sits on the DMEF Board and chairs the competition.  This year the competition was a real GW School of Business show.

Robert Dyer, also a GW marketing professor, and Liebrenz-Himes wrote a case on the Chevy Volt, charging student teams with developing an integrated marketing communications plan for GM’s highly innovative Volt launch.  The vehicle first appeared at U.S. dealerships in early December 2010. GM is placing a major environmental bet on the introduction and marketing of the plug-in electric Volt.

The Volt will go head-to-head with Nissan’s Leaf, another electric car contender. Dyer and Liebrenz Himes specified that the plan incorporate a strong social-media platform along with other marketing communications approaches.  To position the Volt case in a Mid-Atlantic setting, Dyer sought and obtained the sponsorship of Ourisman Chevrolet, DC’s oldest Chevrolet dealership.  Ourisman is known for their longstanding slogan – “You’ll  Always Get Your Way at Ourisman Chevrolet.”  The initial contact with Ourisman was through Ben Ourisman, a senior member of the Ourisman corporate organization and a May 2011 MBA.  His brother Chris runs the Chevy Division of Ourisman.

Eight mid-Atlantic teams participated in the Collegiate Maxi Case Competition this Spring 2011, the largest number ever.  Each school fielded one or more teams with a written entry and accompanying PowerPoint presentation.

The 2011 awards ceremony was held on May 11, 2011 at the flagship Ourisman Chevy Dealership in Temple Hills, MD.  This year, Christopher Newport University from the Virginia Tidewater area won top honors.  Second place went to Salisbury State University from Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  All finalist teams made short, summary presentations of their campaigns.  Chis Ourisman MC’d the event and provided each team with pertinent feedback on their work.

GW’s marketing department did not field a team this year because the Volt marketing had been a topic in many classes (undergraduate and graduate), and because the case authors were both GW faculty.

Posted by gwsb on May 23, 2011 | Filed under: GWSB News.


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