Last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to compete in the Drake/Creighton Murphy Cup. This is an event where each school picks 12 students, we pair up into 2 Bulldogs 2 Bluejays, and we work on a real life company to create a marketing plan addressing a problem they’re experiencing. The event has been going on for three years now, and is funded by this neat guy Chris Murphy who has connections with both schools and wanted to see them collaborate on something rather than the usual competition we see. If you were wondering, Drake and Creighton compete, but as I chatted with our Creighton counterparts this weekend we couldn’t really decide why. Like in sports I think Creighton usually wins. I think we settled on academics. Which of course Drake usually wins…
The event this year was working with Yahoo! on a marketing plan for Yahoo! Fantasy Sports as it relates to 18-24 year olds. It was such a unique thing to be able to work with a real life company to solve a real life problem. It wasn’t just a case study that we read through or a NY Times article, it was a living, breathing problem that required hands on solutions. We spent all of Friday at Yahoo!’s Omaha office, where the candy and coffee flow freely, and there’s a vending machine for apple products. We split into our groups and headed to our private conference rooms to begin development on our plans. Our group spent a lot of time on market research and segmentation during this time and really developed a strong base to build our plan around. Then we had lunch. It was an unending supply of white chicken chili, served in a bread bowl. There were no judgy looks as I approached for round 3, and their fridges were stocked with anything from sparkling water to Diet Coke. It was incredible. Then, back to work, our team began to develop our concrete plan to present for our mid-day check-in with the Yahoo! team. We finished our day at like 4:30, and headed to a Creighton baseball game.
The opening dinner on Thursday night, the baseball game, and the closing awards dinner all had something very special in common. No, not the nice people and cool vibes. The open bar. I have never experienced an open bar in my entire life, except during my catering days where I was always on the serving side rather than the enjoying side. This was not the highlight of my trip although it did make the title of this post, but it was so interesting to see this at a university, where as at Drake we would never even consider alcohol at a student event. Those Jesuits know how to have fun. But #CreightonCantParty.
Our last day we put the finishing touches on our presentations. My pride and joy was the slideshow I got to put together for our team. I used a new platform that I had never heard of before and it was so exciting. That’s how you know I’m a marketer- powerpoints really get me going. Our project was due that afternoon, and while we waited to present, our kind Creighton counterparts gave us a tour of campus. Creighton is similar to Drake in a lot of ways but their campuses are very different I discovered. Before our presentation we bonded over our shared nerves, and one of my teammates gave me a tip- when you’re up there in front of everyone, pretend you’re breathing through tiny pin points in your feet, all the way up your body to the exhale. It worked like a charm for her but I almost suffocated I think. She was honestly one of the best presenters I’ve seen at our age and I was so glad to have her on our team!
Following our presentation we had our awards ceremony, where everyone was recognized for a job well done and I did not win a single thing. But I did gain something this weekend – new friends, a new outlook on Yahoo!, and a new appreciation for free food. I’m so glad this event exists and so happy to have been chosen to compete. Go Bulldogs!