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2010.02.03 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

Students Win Citywide Competition to Develop Marketing Plan for Performance Automotive Group

Omaha - A group of University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) students has developed the winning marketing plan in a contest to promote an automotive free classified Web site sponsored by the Performance Automotive Group of Nebraska.

The 34 students, enrolled during the fall 2009 semester in the New Media Promotions course taught by Jonna Holland in UNO’s College of Business Administration, were charged with developing a marketing plan for the new Web site.

The Web site, www.sellcars4free.com, is a new venture for the Performance Automotive Group. The company is composed of 11 car dealerships in Omaha, Lincoln, Nebraska and Kansas City, Kansas.

Alicia Jitaru, Graham Johnson, Kelli Sidak and Tera Henrich were the winning students who shared the $2,000 prize. The team of Josh Hicks, Nicole Morrison, Chris Massara and Fei Wang received honorable mentions.

The winning proposals included using social media, contests and events to create a buzz about the new business and drive traffic to the site. Performance Automotive Group will use portions of the students’ recommendations in promoting their new venture.

Not only were the 11 groups in Holland’s class competing against each other for the $2,000 prize, but also with marketing students from Creighton University and Bellevue University.

Performance Automotive Group President Mickey Anderson and the company’s CIO, Keith Kaiser, announced the winner Dec. 16 during Holland’s class at UNO.

“The success of this project hinges on its viral and social marketing campaigns,” Kaiser said. “We thought that the insights of local college students would help us better understand these social marketing efforts. The quality and creativity of the projects far exceeded our expectations. We feel fortunate to have excellent universities and students in Nebraska, and congratulate the contest winners from UNO.”

“The students were challenged yet motivated by the chance to put their skills and new-found knowledge to work for a local company,” Holland said. “It was a great opportunity to explore the potential of social media for promoting a new venture. We’re grateful to Performance Auto Group for the chance to compete on this project.”

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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