At ENX2 Marketing, we love to give back to the community. When Dr. Amy Parsons of my yellow-and-red alma mater King’s College asked me to help coach students on campus at a marketing competition for the big America250PA campaign, as a proud 1997 graduate, I was only too happy to do so.
In 2026, America will celebrate its 250th birthday, and the party planning has already begun, with Pennsylvania at the forefront of the initiative. “The Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial (America250PA) was established by the legislature and Governor in 2018 to plan, encourage, develop and coordinate the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States, Pennsylvania’s integral role in that event, and the impact of its people on the nation’s past, present and future.”
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf released a message about America250PA and his quest to involve the collegiate talent from the state to help develop the messaging for the project: “We will honor our country’s founders by inviting students from across the state to come together and share their ideas about how our state can educate, preserve, inspire and celebrate Pennsylvania’s proud traditions with every citizen. We will be the inaugural state in the nation to kick off America’s 250th birthday. We’re excited to invite you to shape this with us.”
As part of the America250PA Direct Effect Innovation Challenge (DEIC), on Friday, October 4, 2019, seven teams of King’s students were given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to create a unique concept that may be used in the official America250PA marketing campaign, a campaign due to launch in January 2020. Teams were comprised of various majors: Marketing, Mass Communications, Accounting, Entrepreneurship – Management, International Business – Management, and Economics. Team members did not know in advance who would be part of each team.
In this initial round, I and fellow alumnus Jonathon Knepper served as coaches. The students were allotted less than two hours to provide, within very specific guidelines, their best concepts in hopes of being selected as the round one winning team from King’s that will next proceed to the regional competition.
Once time was called, three King’s professors serving as judges moved from team to team to learn about each concept and hear the “pitch” from each team’s captain. Next, the judges privately deliberated and carefully discussed each team’s execution of the task at hand. After a thorough evaluation, the judges determined that Team #1, comprised of Caleb Cooley, Alyssa Gesek, Ethan Hasenzahl, and Denis Kennedy will be representing King’s College at the regional round of the competition later this month!
And while we would love to show you all of the King’s teams’ contributions, and not just the round one winning concept, that information is currently classified, so you’ll have to stay tuned to learn more. The winner of the regional round will then compete at the state level where the “chosen one” will be determined for the 2020 campaign!
As I took that walk down memory lane, I can tell you there were no cowardly lions in sight–only fierce competitors who gave it their all with creativity, confidence, camaraderie, and of course, King’s College pride! On behalf of the entire ENX2 Marketing team, good luck to Caleb, Alyssa, Ethan, and Denis, and thank you to Dr. Amy Parsons for allowing us the honor to be involved in America250PA.