University of Miami NASCAR Kinetics Team Triumphant

UM Wins Kinetics

University of Miami senior Justin Leiser welcomes fans to "M&M's Makes Race Day Fun' NASCAR viewing party in Coral Gables


The University of Miami’s first-year NASCAR Kinetics team pulled into Victory Lane having been declared the winner in the Spring 2011 edition of the ‘NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion’ competition. The UM team placed first, trailed by Oklahoma State University and Coastal Carolina University, in their first semester participating in the competition.

This groundbreaking program gave teams an opportunity to work through real-world business challenges facing the motorsports industry. The national marketing challenge came down to the wire, with students from UM’s Sport Administration program defeating 11 universities from across the country.

“This is fantastic for the University of Miami and its Sports Administration program,” said Matt Becherer, President of Homestead-Miami Speedway. “We have enjoyed a very good relationship with the school and this is just further evidence of the caliber of student that South Florida produces. Programs like NASCAR Kinetics will yield future leaders of motorsports and professional sports in general.”

The NASCAR Kinetics competition consisted of two marketing innovation case studies and an official viewing party for a NASCAR race. Through a promotional partnership with Homestead-Miami Speedway, these potential leaders in the racing industry hosted an official NASCAR viewing party during the race at Texas. The UM team was the top performer in both case studies and received the highest marks for their April 9th ‘M&M’s Makes Race Day Fun’ viewing party held at Smoke’t Southern Kitchen & Tap across from the Coral Gables campus.

 “We felt confident the whole time” said team leader Justin Leiser, “but we didn’t expect anything; we knew the competition was going to be very close.” A senior from Clearwater, Leiser utilized classroom knowledge as well as insight he gained during past internships with Homestead-Miami Speedway and International Speedway Corporation’s corporate marketing team. “It was an amazing opportunity to put experience into action and provide NASCAR and its partners with creative marketing ideas. We worked well as a team, threw a fantastic viewing party and to be declared the winner is a huge thrill for us.”

The winning participants also included senior Alex Bryant of Durham, NC, a past public relations intern of Homestead-Miami Speedway, as well as senior Ethan Alpern of Encino, CA, sophomore Lucas Schutt of Trumansburg, NY and senior Matt Small of Rutherford, NJ, all of whom volunteered during  NASCAR’s Ford Championship Weekend held at Homestead-Miami Speedway last November. 

In addition to a promotional partnership with Homestead-Miami Speedway, the team successfully activated NASCAR Official Partners M&M’s and Coca-Cola at the viewing party and completed case studies focused on NASCAR sponsors Growth Energy and Nationwide Insurance.

With the victory, NASCAR will fly the team and their faculty advisors from the University of Miami School of Education, Dr. Windy Dees and Dr. Warren Whisenant, to Charlotte on May 18 for five days to be guests for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21. While there, the students will have the opportunity to meet marketing representatives of NASCAR sponsors and get a behind-the-scenes look at NASCAR facilities from officials.

NASCAR developed NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion, in 2009 with the mission of exposing and educating college students across the nation to the NASCAR brand. This enriching program provides college students with hands-on learning experience from professionals in the world of motorsports. Students will leverage techniques and lessons taught in the classroom to complete case studies and projects based on challenges and opportunities currently facing NASCAR, its official partners, tracks, and other relevant businesses operating in the industry.

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