Mendoza School of Business

The Real Thing: Notre Dame MBA, Coca-Cola co-sponsor online competition

Published: August 21, 2013 / Author: Carol Elliott

The Coca-Cola Company is well recognized for its iconic
brands and marketing savvy. And now,
one of the world’s best known companies is partnering with The Notre Dame MBA program at the
University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business to sponsor an innovative
online competition that asks participants to submit ideas about how Coca-Cola
can advance a global sustainability project currently under development. The
grand-prize winner will then have an opportunity to travel with Coca-Cola’s Sustainability
team to experience the project first-hand.

Coca-Cola and the Notre Dame MBA program are
partnering in the fourth annual Notre
Dame MBA Mini Deep-Dive Challenge
, a virtual case competition open to
members of the public as well as prospective MBA students. This year’s
challenge invites registered participants to submit a one-page proposal for a
corporate sustainability case involving the global water crisis that will be
posted to the Deep-Dive Challenge website on Aug. 30. Participants have the
chance to win a $25,000 Notre Dame MBA fellowship* and an all-expenses paid
trip to help put Coca-Cola’s sustainability initiative in action, as well as and
hundreds of other prizes.

“There is a lot more to The Coca-Cola
Company than soda,” said Derk Hendriksen, general manager of
Slingshot/EKOCENTER at The Coca-Cola Company. “We are dedicated to bringing
clean drinking water to those who currently live without it. Life flows from it
water: Without safe drinking water, physical wellbeing is severely limited and
therefore the ability to create healthy, prosperous communities is
limited.  To this end, Coca-Cola is committed to improving the well-being
of people who are currently without access to safe drinking water.”

To enter, participants must register on the Deep-Dive Challenge
and follow the
instructions to submit a one-page proposal. The challenge’s case brief will provide
details about the case, including information on the topic to be addressed. To
be eligible for prizes, entries must be received by 6 p.m. ET on Sept. 18,
2013. Winners will be announced in mid-October.

“The Deep-Dive Challenge is always a great occasion
for prospective students to get a taste of the kind of experience the Notre Dame
MBA delivers. It requires participants to apply their best problem-solving
skills and creativity toward a real-life issue with significant global impact,”
said Mary Goss, senior director of the Notre Dame MBA. “But
this year, the winning entry will actually get to participate first-hand in a project.
We’re thankful to Coca-Cola for providing this amazing opportunity.”

During the competition, participants
will be able to chat online with Hendriksen, the leader of from The Coca-Cola
Company’s Sustainability team. Competitors will also be able to chat with
current MBA students and review other sample case studies in order to better
understand how cases are analyzed.

Judging will take place in two
phases: A team comprising members of the Mendoza College of Business faculty and staff will review all entries and select 10 proposals
to be judged by Coca-Cola executives. The executives will choose one
grand-prize winner, one second-place winner and one third-place winner. In
addition to prizes offered by Coca-Cola, those who submit an entry are eligible
to receive prizes from other Notre Dame corporate partners, including McDonald’s
and adidas.

Entries will be judged on the
following criteria: 1) demonstrated understanding of the business problem
presented, 2) insightfulness and creativity of solution, and 3) organization
and development of the ideas expressed.

The grand-prize winner will
receive a $25,000 fellowship* to the Notre Dame MBA program
if he or she matriculates into the program in the 2014-2015 academic year (see
eligibility details below and online). The first 50 contestants to register for the challenge
and submit an entry will receive a $5 McDonald’s Arch Card.

All contestants who submit an
entry in accordance with the competition guidelines will receive an application-fee
waiver for the Notre Dame MBA program application
deadline of November 4, 2013.

Visit the Challenge website for
second- and third-place prizes, as well as additional contest details and

The Notre Dame MBA Mini Deep-Dive Challenge was inspired by Interterm Intensive, a signature component of the Notre Dame MBA curriculum. Each spring and fall, MBA
students participate in intense four-day sessions involving real-world
presentations and case competitions from some of the top Fortune 100 companies,
including Whirlpool, GE, adidas and McDonald’s.

Previous Deep-Dive Challenges have
included cases sponsored by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Microsoft and

About The Notre Dame MBA

The Notre Dame MBA at
the Mendoza College of Business enrolls approximately 340 students annually in its one-
and two-year programs. The program is designed to sharpen students’ analytical
and problem-solving skills, enhance their leadership ability and increase
emphasis on ethical decision-making. Students have the opportunity to study the
complexities of global business through international immersions in Asia, Latin
America and other locations.

The Notre Dame MBA is ranked
among U.S. business schools by Bloomberg
. The Mendoza College also is a member of the Forté Foundation, a consortium of
major corporations and top business schools supporting women in business
leadership roles.

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest
beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still
brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s
portfolio features 16 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite,
Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del
Valle. Globally, it is the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages,
ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks.

Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system,
consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy Coca-Cola beverages at a rate of
more than 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building
sustainable communities, the Company is focused on initiatives that reduce its
environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive
work environment for its associates, and enhance the economic development of
the communities where the company operates. Together with its bottling
partners, Coca-Cola ranks among the world’s top 10 private employers with more
than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey
at, follow the company on Twitter at or check out its blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at

*Grand Prize Details: The $25,000 fellowship is valid only if the grand-prize
winner matriculates into the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of
Business MBA one-year or two-year program for the 2014-15
academic year. The fellowship must be applied to the cost of tuition at the
University of Notre Dame. The grand-prize winner must complete the formal
application process and be accepted into the MBA program
of the Mendoza College of Business pursuant to the admissions criteria set
forth. Failure to gain admittance into the MBA program
in the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business negates the $25,000
fellowship offer. Fellowship is nontransferable and may not be redeemed for
monetary value.

Media Relations Contact:

Carol Elliott

Interim Director of Marketing

Mendoza College of Business

University of Notre Dame

Phone: (574) 631-2627

Cell: (574) 360-1942



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