Victory Never Tasted So Good: MillerCoors Case Competition

This fall, MillerCoors sponsored the Kilts Center for Marketing Analytics Case Competition exclusively for Booth students to experience what it’s like to be a brand manager focused on a fascinating, real challenge. The objective: Use vast amounts of consumer data to create a new MillerCoors marketing and growth strategy to bring 21-24 year olds into the beer category.

Booth students from unique backgrounds bonded together through a week of creative and analytical discussion to present MillerCoors executives and brand managers with our best ideas and to compete for some fantastic prizes.

Phase 1: Teaming Up

“Where in the world and with whom would you most want to drink a beer with and why?” That was the question each team of 4 to 6 students had to answer in our application for the competition. Submissions also included info about our interests, what makes us unique, and our understanding of the consumer. My team of 4, the Case Crushers, consisted of students passionate about marketing and brand, who are excited for a challenge done the Booth way—combining creative thinking with data and our diverse prior work experiences to provide the best solutions.

Phase 2: The Kickoff

From the 20+ applications, 8 teams were chosen to complete in the challenge. We arrived at the MillerCoors Headquarters in downtown Chicago for the case kickoff. The evening started with a happy hour to mingle with other teams and MillerCoors employees while enjoying some of the company’s amazing products. After that, we sat down for dinner and presentations by employees about the company’s journey and the exciting challenge that we were there to solve. Then teams dispersed and spent the next week brainstorming, analyzing the data, pulling consumer insights, conducting online research, and working on our presentations for the Big Day.

Phase 3: Final Presentation

It was incredible the caliber of industry experts who sat on our panel of 6 judges and in the audience of ~20: MillerCoors CMO, Innovation VP, multiple Brand Managers, and Chicago Booth marketing faculty. Teams went in with our prepared 15-minute presentations and took 5 minutes of Q&A before reconvening for lunch and the announcement of the top 3 teams.

Phase 4: The Anticipation

As results of the competition were tallied, we waited to find out which team would be awarded top honor. Third place took home some great MillerCoors swag, including canny-packs; second place won Second City tickets and MillerCoors backpacks; and first place won first round interviews with MillerCoors and Chicago Bears tickets.

Phase 5: And the Winner Is…

It was clear that MillerCoors was genuinely enthusiastic to hear the ideas our teams worked so hard to put together, and the Kilts Center made sure the entire event ran smoothly and was memorable for everyone involved. Unmistakably, case competitions are a wonderful way for students to dive deep into a topic of interest and engage with classmates in a high-energy environment. This case competition was an especially amazing experience for the Case Crushers.

Big shout-out to my awesome teammates, David Hanna, Kim Schaefer, and Patrick Yates, who crushed it so we could take home the win! Victory never tasted so good. Cheers!

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