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PepsiCo Awards $15,000 to Winners of MBA Case Competition at TCU’s Neeley School of Business

A team of four MBA students from Illinois, Iowa Tippie, SMU Cox and Vanderbilt Owen won first place and $7,000 in the first annual PepsiCo MBA marketing and finance case competition held at TCU.

September 22,  2015

By Elaine Cole

MBA students from 14 universities competed September 18-19 at TCU in mixed teams, presenting their strategy for a challenging business case to Frito-Lay CEO Tom Greco and other key executives from PepsiCo and KPMG. 

Winning first place and $7,000 was a team of four MBA students: Vincent Lyons from the University of Illinois College of Business, Casey Spoden from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, Chelsea Thompson from Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business and Griffin Bell from Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management.

Second place and $5,000 was awarded to: Morgan Ferguson from Texas Christian University Neeley School of Business, Nishant Samuel from Duke University Fuqua School of Business, Wesley Rondinelli from Texas A&M University Mays Business School, and Kyle Ambrose from the University of Texas-Dallas Jindal School of Management.

Third place and $3,000 was awarded to: Kyle Tilley from TCU Neeley, Elliot Marks from Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business, Lauren Creed from SMU Cox and Taneisha Springfield-Jones from Illinois.

“We gave them a challenging business problem to solve and they took it very seriously,” Greco said. “I have a lot of confidence that the ideas that came out of this competition are going to be implemented out in the marketplace. It is very rewarding for MBA students to ultimately see their idea come to life and see the success of the work that they’ve done.” 

Other schools participating in the competition were University of Houston (Bauer), University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), University of Maryland (Smith), University of Texas at Austin (McCombs) and Washington University in St. Louis (Olin).

Each team was made up of randomly assigned MBA students from different schools. The teams received the case Saturday morning, worked with their teammates, and then presented their solutions to judges Saturday afternoon. Winners were announced at an awards dinner Saturday evening.

Joining the PepsiCo judges was Steve Hill, global head of innovation and investment at KPMG.

This is the first year for the annual competition, made possible by a partnership between the TCU Neeley School and PepsiCo. The competition coincides with PepsiCo’s recruitment for potential summer 2016 internships.

PepsiCo generated more than $66 billion in net revenue in 2013, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.