Mississippi State University

Bulldog Challenge

The class was divided into 5 groups that competed on the basis of total dollar sales. The event was held on April 15, 2009. The “Bulldog Challenge”, as the event was called, was set up as a semester project for MBA students by Assistant Professor, Joel Collier and was devised to benefit United Way.

Motivation
The motivation for the challenge was to offer students hands-on experience similar to starting a business and operating in a highly competitive environment. A project similar to this newly created activity will be done every semester from now by MBA students in Dr. Collier's Strategic Marketing Management class. However, it isn't a required component of the MBA program.

Outcome/Impact
The impacts of this activity were overwhelmingly positive. Immediate social benefits of the challenge included providing more concrete learning experiences, developing problem solving skills, and promoting teamwork among students. Also the challenge helped in creating an avenue for students to serve the community in which they study and a sense of accomplishment. Furthermore, it helped in promoting student-run social activities, fostering creativity, and displaying learned skills on campus. Finally, the Bulldog Challenge helped in providing financial support to a charitable organization. The long-term social benefits from this activity include driving student involvement in and commitment to community service and social responsibility. It also has helped in fostering entrepreneurship and initiative in the broader community and in strengthening the MSU Graduate Studies in Business brand.

The impact of the Bulldog Challenge was evaluated on the basis of amounts of money raised for charity and the amount of support the initiatives drew from the community. The 5 teams raised $7,400 and drew support from MSU students and faculty members, local businesses, and local residents.

Involvement
MBA students in the Strategic Marketing Management class were the primary participants in this challenge. Also involved were other MBA students including MSU's MBA Association members, Distance MBA, Campus Activities Board, The College of Business, and Graduate Studies in Business. MSU also provided support in the form of the drill field, on which the activities took place. Outside organizations that helped include Papa John's Pizza, Kroger, Coldstone Creamery, World of Color, and many more.

Business Principles
The main business principles applied in the Bulldog Challenge were marketing principles. The four Ps—product, place, price, and promotion—were applied by each team to their respective efforts. Other business principles, although not explicitly applied, were also used.

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