May 26, 2004
Legacy Case Competition Yields Ideas for UCLA Anderson Fund
UCLA Anderson Students Bring Marketing Expertise to Alumni Fundraising
Los Angeles — On Saturday, May 8, five teams of students from the Executive MBA and Full-time MBA programs braved early morning hours and reams of data to participate in the 2004 Legacy Case Competition for Alumni Support. Also braving the early morning hours was a judging panel comprised of UCLA Anderson alumni, faculty and staff.
The Legacy Case Competition began three years ago to provide an opportunity for current students to create action plans to strengthen the school. This year, the teams were challenged to answer the case question, “How can UCLA Anderson increase its alumni giving to the UCLA Anderson Fund?” The case competition was sponsored by two members of the UCLA Anderson Board of Visitors, Richard Kayne ’68 and Betsy McLaughlin and carried an award of $5,000 to the winning team.
Teams were given less than a week to assimilate and analyze a wealth of fundraising data from UCLA Anderson and other schools, as well as marketing materials from previous UCLA Anderson Fund campaigns. They were then challenged to develop a marketing plan, including strategy and tactics, to communicate the importance of annual support and to motivate alumni to take action for their alma mater.
Presenting bright and early at 8:00 a.m. was “Equipo-Lite,” comprised of Jon Anderson ’05, David DeWolf ’05, and Stephen Cole ’05. The team’s message centered around segmenting the UCLA Anderson alumni market and using different messages to target the different segments. They proposed encouraging some of the older alumni to “work a day for UCLA Anderson,” while asking the newer graduates to give “less than a latte a day.”
Team “On The Fence,” crafted a Web site for what it coined the “UCLA Anderson Inc – Investing, Networking, and Connecting – Fund.” The team of Ian Cohen ’05, Liz Hervatic ’05, and Jennifer Vescio ’05 echoed the need to segment the target market, and highlighted the need for building a differentiated brand and for more personalized contacts when asking for money.
Jenna Postar ’05, Heidi Chong ’05, and Elizabeth Hovsepian ’05 – acronymically named “Team PCH - Highway 1” – impressed the judges with a proposed marketing message of, “We Are UCLA Anderson.” Team PCH stressed using alumni fundraising messages to highlight all the wonderful aspects that make UCLA Anderson so special rather than constantly comparing UCLA Anderson to other schools.
Amy Weisbrock ’04, Carrie Beckner ’04, and Steven Orchard ’04, aptly named “Team 2004,” emphasized the need to strengthen alumni involvement in UCLA Anderson through personal connections and community networking. They recommended creating (or reactivating) an emotional attachment to and identification with the school which could motivate alumni to become more involved.
“Team Strength and Support,” proposed the implementation of a Road Show to visit some of the larger regional alumni chapters around the country. Team members Amy Cox ’05, Monica Higgins ’05, and Rajal Oswal ’05 also sought to emphasize some of Anderson’s strengths while giving donors a better sense of what their dollars were doing for the school.
After lengthy and thoughtful deliberation, the panel of judges collectively decided to bring Equipo-Lite and Team PCH back to present again in the final round. Equipo-Lite’s creative marketing segmentation ideas backed up by strong financial data, and Team PCH’s impassioned “We Are UCLA Anderson” theme resonated with the panel of first round judges. In the final round, the judging panel also included Board of Visitors members Bud Knapp and Ric Kayne.
The EMBA team of Cole, DeWolf, and UCLA Anderson ultimately came out on top in the judges’ minds after the final round, but all the teams had clearly put a great deal of thought and effort into their wonderful ideas, and all will ultimately contribute to UCLA Anderson in helping the Development Office as it moves forward in developing next year’s marketing strategies for the Fund.
A heartfelt thank you goes out to sponsors Ric Kayne and Betsy McLaughlin, as well as the judging panel: Steve Green ’95, BOV member Bud Knapp, Kathy Lilygren ’98, Eric Mokover ’80, Richard Rodner, Professor Sanjay Sood, and Adam White ’96.