by Joe Vitale
GabelliConnect Freelance Writer
In front of a packed audience in Keating First, Luke Artlotto (GSB ’16), Kirk Haynes (GSB ’16), Hugh Lagrotteria (GSB ’16), Natali Malicki (GSB ’16), Rachel Myers (GSB ’16) and Allie Pushkarsh (GSB ’16) won the first-place prize of $1,000 last night in the Gabelli School’s Consulting Cup.
The winning team, representing the company Ralph Lauren, was one of six groups that used clever visuals to present solutions to the challenges facing some of the world’s most well-known brands.
The Ralph Lauren team suggested a dive into the Chinese market. Another group considered the struggles of McDonalds and recommended that the chain open a healthier subsidiary. Two groups separately dealt with Mattel, one recommending a leap into the “active play” market and the other pitching Barbie dolls as promising staple.
Others competitors addressed the business-world problems facing Staples and Coca Cola, with each transforming their research into business plans for success — ones that are at once socially conscious and technologically integrated.
The 2015 Consulting Cup, formerly known as the Core Bowl, is the culminating event of a semester-long business consulting project that defines the fall-semester Gabelli School sophomore core curriculum.
The audience was packed with students, most of whom were sophomores, as well as professors, some of whom acted as judges for the competition.
The six teams that presented yesterday were chosen by Gabelli School deans and professors as the best in the class.
The winning team, which was the first to present, offered a fiery and detailed presentation.
Calling Ralph Lauren’s nonexistent presence in China a “failure to capitalize,” the students suggested a multifaceted approach that encompassed advances in the online market, a captivating marketing campaign and a brand repositioning.
“We need to truly connect with online buyers in China,” said one presenter for the team. “Every minute we do not is a substantial loss.”
The team representing McDonalds finished in second place. It presented the concept for a healthier subsidiary, called All You Burgers, to compete with fast-casual companies.
One of the Mattel teams finished in third place. Those students suggested an advance on the “smart play” market through a smart watch that combines exercise and video games. The hope, the students said, was to combat childhood obesity.
Using an online survey conducted right after the competition, audience members were able to vote for one particular student speaker. The award went to Hugh Lagrotteria, a member of the Ralph Lauren team. Each team also chose a team MVP. (Scroll down for the results.)
“It was a great team effort, especially by our team MVP and speaker,” said Luke Arlotto, who was a member of the winning team.
Clarence Ball, a Fordham business school faculty member, was the coach of the winning team.
“The team worked really hard on the presentation and really had a competitive edge,” Ball said. “They are the first all-athlete team, and from the beginning, they competed as thoroughbreds.”
“The competition was the best they have had,” Ball added. “Every student was phenomenal.”
While many business students were present for the event, many Fordham staff members also arrived to hear some of the fresh ideas presented by students.
“They did their research and they managed to make the research come alive,” said Jane Suda, head of Reference and Information Services at Walsh Library. “They really turned their research into a vision.”
Most Valuable Team Players:
Photographs courtesy of Lisa Green.