USF students test skills in Honda competition

Thirty-one USF students will compete against 20 other schools from around the country to impress executives at the car company Honda.

The Blue Phoenix, a group of USF undergraduate business students, must design a marketing strategy to advertise Honda’s eco-friendly 2010 Honda Insight, said Vanessa Armas, vice president of public relations for the team.

As part of their strategy for the competition, which will last through the semester, students are hosting a Halloween party tonight from 4 to 7 at the entrance of the Juniper-Poplar residence hall.

“We are representing USF on a national level,” Armas said.

Each competing school received $2,500 from Honda to create and implement a marketing strategy.

Blue Phoenix used a portion of the funds for the Halloween party, which will have free food, games and music.

“Our goal is to spread awareness of the eco-friendly Honda Insight across our generation,” said Jack Wilcox, public relations co-chair of the team.

Wilcox said two Honda Insights will be on exhibition at the party. There will also be a costume competition and a raffle for a free iPod, he said.

The Honda cars will also be showcased at the Homecoming Carnival and in the Homecoming Parade on Nov. 19 and 20, he said.

Three schools will be selected as finalists and flown to California to present their marketing strategies to Honda executives. The first place team receives $5,000, second place gets $3,000 and third place receives $1,000.

“This competition brings education and business together,” Wilcox said.