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Creighton Welcomes Murphy Cup Back Home

Jan 7, 2022
5 min Read
Creighton students celebrate winning the Murphy Cup

The marketing strategy competition has been a popular experiential learning opportunity since it was first introduced by Creighton Board of Trustee member Chris Murphy nearly 10 years ago.

What was virtual this past February returned to campus this fall, and in full force. The 9th annual Murphy Cup Marketing Strategy Competition once again united top students from Creighton and Drake University for a weekend of friendship, fruitful collaboration and, yes, some serious midnight oil burning. 

Bill Black with Murphy Cup champions

It was Creighton’s turn to host the event, held Nov. 11-13 at the Mike and Jose Harper Center. As host, the University secured Omaha’s Scooter’s Coffee as the live client. With nearly 400 locations in 23 states, Scooter’s Coffee is arguably the fastest growing drive-thru coffee franchise in the United States, says Matt Seevers, PhD, professor of marketing and associate dean of undergraduate programs at the Heider College of Business. 

“We try to identify a brand with a local presence that is strong and vibrant with, if possible, alumni connections,” says Seevers. “We also seek to work with a client that is likely to be actively engaged in the planning and execution of Murphy Cup. This goes a long way toward bringing the event to life.”

Bill Black, chief marketing officer of Scooter’s Coffee, was very involved in the planning and execution of the event, putting together “a wonderful team of colleagues,” adds Seevers. Among these was Kelly Crummer, BSBA’11, who serves as senior director of franchise recruitment for the company.

Past clients include NIKE, Yahoo!, Union Pacific and Loup Logistics, Kiewit Corporation, UnitedHealth Group and Meredith Corporation and its Better Homes and Gardens division.

Professors from each university select 12 of their top marketing students to participate in the Murphy Cup competition. Students are divided into six teams of four, with two students from each school making up each team. The idea is to replicate a real-world business situation in which team members new to each other are thrown together to tackle a problem in a very short period of time. Their challenge this year was to create a proposal to support revenue growth across multiple dayparts for Scooter’s Coffee. 

Senior marketing and business intelligence and analytics double major Maci Yelaska was a member of the champion team. She and her teammates created a proposal with two different ideas on how to encourage customers to return to Scooter’s outside the typical morning drive to work. 

Murphy Cup runner up team

The first centered on a coffee happy hour promotion, “Extra Boost,” that rewards customers with double loyalty points alongside their afternoon pick-me-up. The second idea, “Li’l Scooters,” targeted a new demographic – parents and caretakers of hungry children – with a kid’s snack pack that bundles items already on the menu for a quick treat, perfect for after school or pre-sports activity nourishment.

“The judges and Scooter’s Coffee executives gave us positive feedback specifically about our kid’s snack pack idea since it creatively bundled existing menu items,” says the Naperville, Illinois, native, “and we identified new target groups that they could market toward. We focused on fully developing both ideas on their own so that one’s success did not rely on the other.” 

“Scooter’s Coffee was thrilled by the quality of the students’ work,” says Seevers. But “my biggest takeaway is the joy of watching our students collaborate with others to perform well under high pressure. The students displayed all of the qualities that we claim among our student outcomes: leadership, critical thinking, communication, business acumen, among others. It’s the Heider Mindset Curriculum in action.”

Jack Hansen-Reed

Though developing a plan and presentation in 48 hours required Yelaska and her teammates to think outside the box, she still maintains Murphy Cup was a “meaningful hands-on, real-world experience” that “perfectly balances fun and professionalism.”
“It was incredibly rewarding to go into the presentation room with energy and confidence thanks to my amazing team,” Yelaska says. “Always say yes to a learning opportunity; otherwise, you'll lose out on a meaningful experience.”

Congratulations to Creighton’s Fall 2021 Murphy Cup Marketing Strategy Competition winners.

  • Team Champions: “Team Scooter Doodle” – Dany Guerra and Maci Yelaska (Creighton) and Jane Farmer and Louis Luong (Drake)
  • Team Runners-up: “Team Peppermint Mocha” – Nina Bastian and Anthony Alvarado (Creighton) and Brian Etzenhouser and Katie McClintic (Drake)
  • “Most Creative Contributor” Jack Hansen-Reed (Creighton)