Published October 12th, 2006 - 02:37 GMT

The Master Foods Academic Awards for Excellence in Marketing finals were recently hosted in an innovative manner to identify the top three marketers for each participating university.  Participants from King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh, King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran and King Abdul Aziz University (KAAU) in Jeddah prepared to dazzle and enthrall the judging committee and grab the top prizes.  This was the initial judging stage, with competition being organized separately in each university and the three winners chosen will go on to compete in the second stage which is the competition for the Master Foods Awards for Academic Excellence Grand Prize. 

The competition which aims at supporting talented students in order to develop their creativity and initiative was also designed to prepare them for the high level of competitiveness that exists in the real world of product marketing. To achieve this, the competition involved practical application of what they have learnt as a result of their studies at university. 

A judging committee was formed with its members comprising of university professors, Master Foods and organizing company officials; the judges included: Mr. Abdul-Hakeem Hakeem, Master Foods' External Affairs Manager, Mr. Mohammed Al Ayed, TRACCS CEO, Professor James Cooper, Dr. Obaid Al Sharaidh and Dr. Suhail from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran in the Easter Region. From King Saud University in Riyadh the judging panel included:  Dr. Sayed Mutwali, Dr. Mohammed Al-Haran, Dr. Saleh Al-Qahtani, and from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah the judges included:  Dr. Issam Katoaa, Prof. Dr. Mohammed Gotta, Prof. Dr. Habibulah Al-Turkistani, Dr. Samar Mohammed Assagaq, Dr. Naeima Bogary, Dr. Shaza Ezzy and Dr. Fatima Jad-Allah.

Students presented the marketing campaigns to the judging panel and were judged on their development of a campaign to achieve a specific sales increase percentage for their selected product, presentation skills and overall campaign production.  Winners in each university were as follows:

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Mineral Resources:
First Place:  Student team members - Ibrahim Al Idros, Imad Al Qahtani, Mohammed Radwan, Abdullah Baroom, Badr Al Qahtani and Tariq Mubareki Second Place: Student team members - Mufrih Nahary, Mohammed Udwan, Khaled Al Bassam, Saad, Al Sulaiman and Amash Al Sharari.
Third Place: Student team members - Ryan Jamjoom and Abdul Rahman Turjman
Dean of Industrial Administration, Dr. Arif Al Ashban awarded the prizes. 

King Saud University:
First Place:  Student team members - Tariq Al Ruwaili and Abdullah Al Halees Second Place: Zuhair Shamasi
Third Place:  Ali Al Ghazwi
Dean of Administrative Sciences awarded the prizes. .

King Abdulaziz University:
First Place: Sultan Sabr
Second Place:  Student team members – Zaha Shabat, Safa Al Qadra and Lamya Al Hazmi
Third Place: Alla Musa
The finals for King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah were held at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and was attended by Dr. Mohammed Gotta, Head of Marketing at the Business Administration Department, Dr. Samar Al Saqqaf, University Dean – Girls Section.

Prizes for the winners for each university were as follows:  first place winner, received a cash award of SR 10,000, second place winner received a cash prize of SR 5,000 and the third place winner received a cash prize of SR 3,000. The students were also given certificates of participation and the award plaques. 
In the Grand Finals, the three first winners from each university will compete to be the “Saudi Marketing Star” and will receive an additional award of SR 30,000. In addition, the winner will get a two week paid training period at Master Foods Middle East headquarters in Dubai, UAE the home of the renowned chocolate and confectionary brands (such as Galaxy, Snickers, Twix, M&Ms, Skittles and Bounty). All the contestant's entries will be evaluated by a panel consisting of academics from the universities, in cooperation with the Saudi Marketing Association and Master Foods marketing experts.
The Master Foods Academic Awards for Excellence program offers a unique opportunity for talented Saudi students who have a flair for marketing, and is an excellent example of the benefits of cooperative relationships between academic institutions and private sector.

Master Foods is the producer of several worldwide famous brands, including Snickers, Galaxy, Twix, M&M, Bounty, Uncle Bens rice and Sultana products. The Company believes that the outstanding successes it made in the recent years is due to careful screening, developing and training of staff. The Company is highly efficient in developing selected products, and realizes that success requires continuous efforts to detect individuals who are highly distinguished in their fields and to train them appropriately to trigger their skills and capabilities. This goes in line with Master Foods’ five fundamentals, quality, responsibility, exchange, efficiency and freedom, which are the secret behind the Company success.

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