The Carlson School took second place at the annual Elite Eight Brand Management Case Competition held November 3 to 5 at the school. The Kellogg School of Management was named the winner of this year’s event and awarded a $10,000 grand prize. The University of California, Los Angeles’ Anderson School of Management took third.

Carlson School team members include Jeremy Hemsworth, Stacy Atherton, Ashley Ver Burg Soukup, Karyn Christianson, and Liz Krusemark.

Now in its 16th year, the Elite Eight Case Competition is a student-led case competition that attracts competitors from eight top-ranked MBA programs. All cases focus on real-world brand management opportunities faced by companies in today’s competitive marketplace. The case and sponsor remain secret until the opening night, where teams then have 36 hours to prepare for final presentations to the sponsor company’s management team on Saturday.

This year’s sponsor, POPS! Diabetes Care, a healthcare startup in Stillwater, had asked teams to develop a market-entry strategy for a revolutionary product launching in a highly crowded diabetes market. In addition to POPS! Diabetes Care, 2016 sponsors included 3M, Land O’Lakes, Michael Foods, Target, Kimberly-Clark, and Accenture Consulting. Food partners included General Mills, Seven Sundays, and Whole Foods. A major goal of the competition is to connect Minnesota companies with MBA students from across the United States.

As this year’s competition wraps up, the student managing directors of Elite Eight are already looking towards next year’s competition. For more information about future participation in Elite Eight, including sponsorship opportunities, email