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The Murphy Cup: A Marketing Strategy Competition

Experience firsthand what it’s like to develop and pitch a strategic marketing proposal to an actual client.

Since 2013, Creighton University and Drake University have partnered on the annual marketing strategy competition known as the Murphy Cup, named for the event’s benefactors, Chris and Betsy Murphy. The event places each school’s top marketing seniors in a team competition to develop a marketing solution for a live client – all in a span of one weekend! Rather than pitting Creighton students against their Drake counterparts, each Murphy Cup team is comprised of students from both schools. The spirit is competitive, but also collaborative.

Working with Elite Clients

Students work with highly admired clients who range from the iconic (Nike) to the Fortune 500 elite (UnitedHealth Group) to the fast-growing disruptors (Scooter’s Coffee). Many of these clients have enjoyed the opportunity to engage with and ultimately recruit these topflight students.

Experiential learning. Networking. Community-building. The Murphy Cup is all three rolled into one intense, memorable weekend of marketing problem-solving.

Group shot of Murphy Cup participants

Murphy Cup: Experiential Marketing

Murphy Cup students collaborating on their business strategy
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Murphy Cup celebrates its 10th anniversary

Experiential learning is a hallmark of a Heider business education. Converting undergraduate activities into real-world experience is what sets Heider students from their counterparts in the job interview process, and one of the college’s premier examples is the Murphy Cup Marketing Strategy Competition (Murphy Cup, for short).

Murphy Cup student champions holding trophy following competition
Quantum Workplace logo
Scooters Logo
United Healthcare logo
Kiewit logo
Loup Logo


Solheim Cup logo
Yahoo logo
Better Homes and Gardens logo
Nike Logo

Past Clients

  • Quantum Workplace
  • Scooter’s Coffee
  • UnitedHealth Group
  • Kiewit Corporation
  • LOUP Logistics (Union Pacific)
  • Solheim Cup
  • Yahoo!
  • Better Homes & Gardens Magazine (Meredith Corporation)
  • Nike
Murphy Cup Champions

2022-23 (10th Annual)

  • Emma Hermann (Creighton)
  • Henry Lewis (Creighton)
  • Alexia Simonton (Drake)
  • Kalin Valster (Drake)


Quantum Workplace

Quantum Workplace logo
  • Quantum Workplace, a nationally recognized, award-winning human resources software technology provider headquartered in Omaha, tasked students to develop a marketing and communication strategy to help Quantum maintain a high level of customer retention among their existing clients over the next two years. The winning solution was a gamification marketing strategy or rewards program that incentivized current Quantum customers to utilize its services.


Scooter’s Coffee

Scooters Logo
  • Scooter’s Coffee is arguably the fastest growing drive-thru coffee franchise in the United States, and it challenged students to create a proposal to support revenue growth across multiple dayparts for Scooter’s Coffee. The championship team sought to encourage customers to return to Scooter’s outside the typical morning drive through a coffee happy hour promotion, “Extra Boost,” and a “Li’l Scooters” program that targets parents and caretakers of hungry children with a kid’s snack pack that bundles existing menu items for a quick treat.