Campus News

NSAC Team Finishes 4th in the Nation, UK’s Highest Ever

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 17, 2022) — For the third time in recent University of Kentucky history, and the second consecutive year, students in the College of Communication and Information’s Department of Integrated Strategic Communication’s National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) team earned a place at the national finals, and UK’s best finish ever.

This year’s team ended their history-making season with a fourth-place finish in the nation with their presentation and plans book for 2022 NSAC client Meta Quest 2, a virtual reality headset developed by Meta (formerly Facebook) Reality Labs.

The NSAC provides college students from across the nation the opportunity to create a comprehensive strategic marketing/advertising/media campaign for a corporate client, offering real-world experience that students can earn while still in the classroom.

Each client provides an assignment or case study outlining the history of its product and a current challenge. The case study reflects a real-world marketing challenge the student teams must research and then develop and test solutions. Student teams create a presentation and plans book and then “pitch” their solutions to a panel of judges, from the district to the national level.

This year’s team, led by ISC Associate Professor Adriane Grumbein, won District 5, which encompasses American Advertising Federation college chapters in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia and was held April 22-23 in Toledo, Ohio. Around the nation, 107 teams competed in 15 national American Advertising Federation district events.

This year was the 11th time a UK team won the District Five competition.

After winning the district level, the team advanced to the semifinal round, held virtually May 5-6, where they competed against 19 other district winners from across the nation.

The top eight teams in the semifinal competition moved on to the national competition, held June 2-5, in Nashville, Tennessee.

After the votes were tallied, the UK team finished fourth, out of the more than 100 teams that entered this year’s competition, earning UK’s highest-ever finish.

The team also won the AdMall by SalesFuel Best Research Award, given to the national finalist team deemed to have demonstrated the best marketing research in their presentation and plans book. The 2021 team also won this award, making UK only the fourth team to win this award twice in the award’s 18-year history, not to mention, consecutively.

“Fourth place in the nation! I’m still in awe. But I’d be lying if I said I was surprised,” said Grumbein.

“This team’s phenomenal placement is not a lucky break. It is the result of months of hard work, dedication and teamwork. I rarely encounter students with such talent, drive and commitment. To have 14 of them on a team together was truly a unique and wonderful experience. You better believe I’ll keep a close eye on this group — they are headed for great things, and I couldn’t be prouder!”

ISC junior Emme Schumacher echoed the team aspect of this year’s success saying, “Not only have I grown personally and professionally, but I have also learned the value of working as a team.”

“This team is full of so much talent and seeing us all come together to create this amazing campaign was definitely something special. I will forever be grateful for this experience and all the friendships I have made along the way,” Schumacher said. 

The 2021-2022 all female NSAC team members were ISC students Camille Wright, Tori Smith, Grace Taylor, Kamryn Bogott, Emme Schumacher, Olivia Ford, Dani Jaffe, Katherine Yochum, Kate Maddox, Addison Cave, Makiyah Owens, Cat Kidman, Lauren McDowell and Julia Kimbrell.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.