University Of Central Florida Named ‘Top Team’ In NASCAR Kinetics

Whether you call it a “race” or a “rout” it’s safe to say the 2011 fall semester of NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion was dominated by the University of Central Florida (UCF). In the largest NASCAR Kinetics class to date, 19 colleges and universities competed for the coveted title of top team and the opportunity to attend last month’s Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway at NASCAR’s season finale.

This semester, the UCF NASCAR Kinetics Team placed first on the two assigned case studies, which focused on developing a comprehensive social media strategy for Michael Waltrip Racingincluding creating a promotion around the team’s partnership with Aaron’sand developing a retail, at-track, and digital program to highlight NASCAR’s official partnership with Dodge. The student team was also tasked to plan and execute an M&M’S Makes Race Day More Fun Viewing Party for nearly 200 guests.

“The University of Central Florida demonstrated both creativity and professionalism in winning both of the fall semester’s case studies, a first for NASCAR Kinetics,” said Steve Sweeney, NASCAR’s director consumer marketing. “The students’ work impressed the executives at MWR and we may see the team implement one of more of the initiatives in 2012.”

During the trip to Homestead-Miami Speedway, the UCF NASCAR Kinetics team met with industry professionals from NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation, Homestead-Miami Speedway, NASCAR Media Group, Michael Waltrip Racing, and the sports marketing agency Octagon. The team was also able to get a behind-the-scenes look at the production of the NASCAR pre-race ceremonies, NASCAR on ESPN, the Sprint Experience, Gatorade Victory Lane and the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship celebration.

The UCF NASCAR Kinetics team is comprised of the following five students within the DeVos Sport Business Management Undergraduate Program at UCF: Kaitlyn Blizzard (Spring Hill, Fla.), Jaime Fox (Wellington, Fla.), Hannah Meyers (Jacksonville, Fla.), Bill Morrison (Soderville, Minn.) and Brandon Vinieratos (St. Petersburg, Fla.). “Being a part of the UCF NASCAR Kinetics team this semester has been an incredible learning and rewarding experience for each member of the team,” said Team Leader Jaime Fox. “Working on industry-related case studies for Michael Waltrip Racing and Dodge has allowed our team to not only further our knowledge about the sport but also provide us with valuable hands-on experience within the motorsports industry.”

NASCAR developed the NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion program in 2009 with the mission of exposing college students to and educating them about the NASCAR brand and its industry partners. This innovative, engaging program gives the teams an opportunity to work through real-world business challenges facing the motorsports industry. Students will leverage techniques and lessons taught in the classroom to complete case studies and projects. Each student chosen for the NASCAR Kinetics program is tasked with fostering brand awareness throughout their college and the community. Students who have taken part in the program credit it for giving them a leg up on the competition for internships and jobs in the sports industry. The program hopes to expand to 25 schools for the spring 2012 semester.