SFA students recently brought home the third place trophy from the District 10 American Advertising Federation's National Student Advertising Competition held in Houston. Pictured back row, from left, are Kathryn Jones, Joshua Contreras, Matthew Griffin, Aaron Harlan, Whitney Dodds and Ashlee Wooten; center row, from left, Hannah Simmons, Sarah Gore, Jeremy Pyeatt, Austin Pennington, Brandon Mason and David Chavez; seated, from left, Alisen Jackson and Sarah Parker; kneeling, Jonathan Abowd. Not pictured: Trevor Connolly. Photo by Cody Derouen.

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - A semester's worth of work paid off for a group of Stephen F. Austin State University advertising students when they received third place among 30 teams at the recent District 10 American Advertising Federation's National Student Advertising Competition held in Houston.

SFA students created a cutting-edge, multimedia marketing communications plan for Century Council, a national not-for-profit organization funded by distillers dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, explained Marty Prince, adjunct faculty member in the SFA School of Art and the team's advisor.

"Just as a real advertising agency would do, the students researched the product, target market and competition, identified marketing/communication opportunities and developed traditional and non-traditional communication strategies," Prince said.

The students then made their presentation to a panel of communications professionals. The national competition begins with150 college and university teams in 15 district qualifying events. SFA is one of 30 schools who competed in District 10, one of the largest in the nation.

"Third place is a record achievement for SFA in this competition," Prince said. "Our district competition was the largest this year, allowing us to send both second place Texas Christian University and first place Texas Tech University to represent our district at nationals."

"The competition offers our students an opportunity for a real-world advertising experience," Prince continued. "Many top advertising agencies use this opportunity to recruit the ad industry's newest talent."

The SFA presentation team was composed of advertising design students David Chavez of Houston, Trevor Connolly of Carrollton, Whitney Dodds of Katy, Alisen Jackson of Austin, and marketing student Aaron Harlan of McGregor.

They were assisted in the campaign preparation by advertising design students Jonathan Abowd of Pearland, Joshua Contreras of Carrollton, Sarah Gore of Palestine, Matthew Griffin of Lindale, Kathryn Jones of Sealy, Brandon Mason of Houston and Ashlee Wooten of Crockett. Also, Sarah Parker (marketing) of Dallas, Austin Pennington (digital media) of Sugar Land, Jeremy Pyeatt (applied arts and sciences) of Lufkin, and Hannah Simmons (communications) of Nacogdoches.

Other SFA faculty members who assisted the team were Linda Bond of the Division of Communication and Contemporary Culture; Marlene Kahla and Barbara Bierber-Hamby of the Department of Management, Marketing and International Business; and Peter Andrew of the School of Art.