Marketing students compete to raise awareness of Boots and The Prince’s Trust’s purpose-driven partnership

Applications to the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s (CIM’s) 2021/22 global competition – The Pitch – are now open to international marketing students until the 3rd December 2021.

In its eleventh year, the competition challenges university students from across the world to respond to a live client brief, in a bid to win a cash prize of £1,500 and the esteemed title of ‘Marketer of the Future’. 

This year’s competition is sponsored by the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer, Boots. Entrants will be challenged to raise awareness of the partnership Boots has with The Prince’s Trust, in a creative way that brings to life the expertise and ‘behind the scenes’ support for young people. 

The students will be challenged to develop a consumer-facing creative campaign that raises awareness of both brands whilst engaging the hearts and minds of customers and team members. Each team will have a £200,000 budget to develop a campaign that takes advantage of earned, owned and paid media channels.

Discussing the launch of the competition Pete Markey, chief marketing officer at Boots said: “We are really looking forward to seeing the entries for The Pitch competition and encourage all eligible young marketers to give it a go. Our partnership with The Prince’s Trust intends to empower the next generation by providing meaningful opportunities for young people, echoing the sentiment of this global competition giving young people the chance to stand out from the crowd and show off their creativity.

“We’re expecting to see exceptional entries, so we’d encourage competitors to think outside the box and come up with creative ideas that will resonate with young like-minded people. We wish all the competitors the best of luck and look forward to seeing their ideas.”

The competition is open to second and third-year students at universities across the world, who are studying for a marketing degree or a business degree with a marketing module. In teams of two or three, entrants must devise a marketing plan and present it to the judges. The top ten teams will be invited to a live virtual judging final on the 18th March 2022 to present their ideas to judges from across the industry, including representatives from Boots, CIM and leading brands. The ultimate winners will be announced at the end of the live final.

Gemma Butler, marketing director at CIM, said: “We’ve been running The Pitch competition for eleven years now, but every year I continue to be inspired by the brilliant ideas presented by the marketing students.

“Recent research of ours found that more than a third (35%) of young people aged between 16 to 24 have undertaken additional training in the last two years due to concerns around the job market. Being crowned ‘Marketer of the Future’ is a brilliant way to bolster a CV and stand out from the crowd in an even more competitive job market.

“Boots is a well-loved British brand, and we hope its partnership with The Prince’s Trust will present young marketers with an exciting opportunity to challenge their creativity, whilst developing critical business and life skills.”

Last year’s winners were a trio from Leeds Beckett University, who impressed judges with their situational analysis of Samsung’s brand positioning and identification of channel opportunities for its Gen-Z target audience.

Discussing the competition, Jessica Rolph said: “We were so pleased to have been awarded last year’s title. Despite all the challenges that 2020 brought us, we worked hard to put into practice the marketing theories and techniques that we’d studied at University throughout our course.”

Hannah Napier added: “Being crowned ‘Marketers of the Future’ sets us apart from rest, an accolade that not many can add to their CV. It provided us with a real confidence boost during a tricky period for graduates.” 

The initiative has been so successful over the past eleven years that it is now integrated into the syllabuses of many universities across the UK, including Bournemouth, Leeds Beckett, Hull and Swansea. The Pitch is also part of a wider initiative that runs alongside the CIM Accredited Degree partnership programme, which maps marketing and business degrees against learning outcomes within CIM qualifications. 

More information, including how to enter and details of the challenge can be found here.

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