Marketing Team Finalists in Honda Contest

Monday, October 11, 2010

The shiny black car has been attracting attention at IU South Bend. The Honda CR-Z was parked Monday afternoon outside Wiekamp Hall and many were asking if it was being raffled. Students took pictures and sat in the driver’s seat dreaming of a sweet ride.

No, it is a class project for M415 Advertising and Marketing Management and they are taking part in the American Honda Motor Corp. CR-Z Media Challenge. Marketing classes from across the country were invited to submit a proposal to get the word out about the sports hybrid coupe.
IU South Bend was one of 10 teams chosen to have the car for six weeks and get the PR out. Some of the other teams are from such noted universities as Clemson, Syracuse and Tulane.
The three students on the team are C.J. Hollenkamp of Granger, Justin Matthews of Elkhart and Marina Sato of Mishawaka. They have six weeks of being with the car and driving it to different locations such as Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, Bethel College and IVY Tech. They will be making stops at Notre Dame football games and Discount Tire Stores.

All this travel on $150 budget.

The team also will be using e-mail and social media sites to get the word out. E-mail can be sent to Then there tohe other social media sites - in South Bend; in South Bend and on Twitter @CRZ in South Bend.


All the teams will submit the results of their public relations campaigns with photos, media coverage and Powerpoint presentation by Dec. 1. Three teams will be selected from the 10 and those three will go to Torrance, Calif., on Dec. 14 for a final presentation to industry professionals, journalists and executives from American Honda.
The panel will choose first, second and third place teams. The first place team will go to Washington, D.C. in April for a product launch.
All the teams will receive a virtual online unpaid internship and they will participate in a number of online public relations activities.
Hollenkamp said the idea of the contest was proposed by Professor Monle Lee at the very beginning the the semester. The 10 three-member teams from the class came up with their own proposal and the Hollenkamp, Sato and Matthews’ plan was chosen to be submitted to Honda.
Lee was notified Friday (Oct. 8) that the team made the cut. The other members of the class will participate in the project by assisting at sites.
Hollenkamp said the team put out their best ideas and brainstormed. “We built on our best ideas” with Justin doing the design work and Marina looking at research. Hollenkamp supplied the creativity.
Their slogans are “Go Fast, Go Green, Go Honda” and “Now the planet can last as long as your new Honda does.”
“We really didn’t think it would happen. We’re excited,” Hollenkamp said.


The Honda team, from left, C.J. Hollenkamp, Marina Sato and Justin Matthews. Assisting are fellow marketing students Amanda Wells and Michael Lochmondy. Kelsi Clark, of Elkhart, another marketing class member, also is assisting but was absent from the photo.