Horizon Media partnered with non-profit, SuitUp, to mentor NYC students about media skills and encourage them to solve real problems for well-known brands.
“We wanted to give these students an inside look at what it’s like to work in media, a career path they may not have previously been exposed to,” said Zach Graumann, co-founder and CEO at SuitUp.
The one-day student business challenge - held December 9 - invited 40 high school students via Partnership with Children, one of SuitUp's education partners, to create a new marketing program for Horizon client, Buffalo Wild Wings. The competition is the brainchild of Heather Giudice, VP, brand group director, who leads the Buffalo Wild Wings brand strategy team at Horizon Media.
This is the first time the event has happened at Horizon Media. And “This is the first time we have done a customized competition [with] an agency's client,” says Graumann.
The four teams suggested youth-oriented strategies, including new menu items, teen-focused advertising campaigns, and events that would appeal to younger diners.
"Incorporating Buffalo Wild Wings into the SuitUp business challenge was a natural and easy decision, as it’s a brand that we thought the students will be excited to work on," says Giudice.
Horizon employees coached students and served as mentors after they were briefed on their assignment. The event concluded with the teams presenting their campaign ideas to a panel of judges comprised of Horizon employee volunteers. The winning team received gift card prizes.
“It’s an invaluable experience for students,” says Graumann. “And we think that working on a brand they’re familiar with will make education more exciting and relevant to them.”
Suit Up, created two years ago, aims to increase career awareness for students in low-income communities by organizing volunteer events for companies through partnerships with a number of middle and high school programs. Since its creation it’s worked with organizations like UBS, PIMCO, LinkedIn, NBC, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, AppNexus and others.