On December 11th, two teams from the seminar of GIS professor Takamasa Fukuoka made it to the final round of the 10th Marketing Contest Japan (MCJ) 2021 at ANCHOR KOBE, hosted by Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, and won both the first and second prizes! This is the fourth consecutive year that a team from the Fukuoka seminar has won the contest, following 2017, 2018, and 2019! (MCJ 2020 was canceled due to the Covid-19’s pandemic). This year’s theme was “Creating Fermented Food Culture 3.0 in US Markets: Marketing Plans for San-J’s Soy Sauce Products.” San-J International Inc is a brewer of premium Tamari Soy Sauce based in Richmond, Virginia, in the United States since 1978 and a subsidiary of Sanjirushi Jozo, which was founded in 1804 in Kuwana, Mie, Japan.
Dr. Fukuoka expressed his pride in their accomplishments: “the theme seemed to be difficult but I think the academic knowledge of global marketing gained in their spring semester was very useful for the students. One of the roles of a university professor is to provide an environment for students to grow, and MCJ is just such a place. They clearly showed their growth in the process of making their own marketing plans. I am very proud of them!”
Dr. Hayama, who is a substitute teacher for the Fukuoka seminar this semester, was also encouraging: “During the past two months, students have spent much time discussing their concepts, designing their marketing plans, calculating costs and budgets, and making presentation slides. Their performances at MCJ were so amazing and this led to them winning the first and second prizes. I am so honored to have been able to witness their continuous efforts, active research, innovative planning, and strong teamwork.”
Each team provided some comments on their win:
First Place Team (Team S601)
This is a great honor for me and for all team members to have won the first prize at MCJ! I am really glad to have experienced MCJ as a student before I embark on my career. I am sure that this will help me to be a great “Shakai-jin”. Thank you to all of the seminar students!
I am so delighted that we could win the first prize, it was a great experience and opportunity. It was not an easy process, but we could achieve this because of the great contribution and effort of all of our teammates. I hope that I can make the best of what I learned from our success at MCJ. I would like to thank everyone who supported us including all seminar members and professors!!
It is an honor to have won the first prize at MCJ. I am sure that this great result came about because of repeated practice and the great amount of support we gave each other, as well as the support from the other seminar members and professors. I would like to sincerely thank every single person who supported us.
Although I was confident with our plan, I was not sure if we could win since we had strong competitors. I think that we were able to win because we kept discussing everything until everyone agreed with the plan. In addition, I believe that everyone dedicating time to practice over and over again led us to give a successful presentation. I will make great use of this opportunity for my future career, starting with job hunting. Finally, I wish to thank the other seminar members, my team members, and Dr.Hayama, and Dr.Fukuoka.
Second Place Team (Team Shōyuこと)
I am glad that we were able to receive second place, and I am thankful for all the support we have received. I think getting to study marketing is one of the biggest opportunities that I have had so far at GIS. Therefore, receiving an award at MCJ with my teammates was a great experience. However, I believe that there is still room for improvement so I look forward to next year and doing my best again next year.
I am very honored to receive the second prize. I greatly appreciate the support of my team members, other seminar students, and Dr. Fukuoka and Dr. Hayama. I think this was one of the best moments of my university life, I could do my best with the support of my teammates.
I’m glad that the effort our group put in paid off to let us achieve 2nd place. From the overall process, I learned a lot. One of the most important lessons that I learned is that you can’t be “perfectly prepared” for an event like this. There is always something more that can be improved. I’d like to learn from this by constantly seeking improvement and doing better next year.