Crexendo Brings Website Contest to University of Utah Students

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A Web marketing company should put its money where its mouth is. If these students can build and run their own websites successfully using Crexendo, think of what business professionals can do.

Crexendo President Clint Sanderson (left), Crexendo VP of Web Marketing Parker Garlitz (center), and Assistant Professor Jeff Hassett of the University of Utah kick off the student website contest.

Web marketing skills are something students can use no matter what career they pursue.

These days most people go straight to the Internet when they need information. That means an effective website is critical to a company's success. In an effort to help college students understand that reality and teach them how to create and implement effective Internet marketing strategies, a Web marketing company called Crexendo is holding a website and online marketing competition. Crexendo Business Solutions, headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, will give free digital marketing tools to University of Utah students who want to compete; the tools include access to Crexendo web hosting, content management system (CMS) software, and a proprietary e-commerce platform.

“It’s really everything a student will need to build an e-commerce website and start marketing it,” said Crexendo President Clint Sanderson. “It’s a way for college students to get real-world entrepreneurial Web design experience, Web marketing education, and experience in the post-collegiate world.”

Students will plan and build a website promoting a real-life product or service, and then use the website and SEO training—including link-building techniques—they’ll get from Crexendo to draw visitors to their site. The training is part of the contest and free of charge.

Olivia Sheng is the Director of the Global Knowledge Management Center at the University of Utah. She said, “Winning contestants will get some of the prize money and a fully-functioning website. Students who don’t win will still get valuable experience to draw on in the future and a wonderful addition for their resumes. And they’ll have a functioning website to build on if they choose.”

Prize money pay-outs will be $7,500 for first place; $5,000 for second place; $2,500 for third place; and six runners up at $500 each. Judges from Crexendo and the University of Utah will evaluate websites on Appearance (15%), Mechanics (35%), Marketing (25%), Overall Idea (25%), plus a bonus category called Traction, wherein contestants can earn up to 10% extra points for actual leads or sales their websites generate.

Crexendo held its first university competition at Brigham Young University (BYU) this past spring. The U. has already seen hundreds of students sign up for the free web tools and contest. The website competitions are part of the new Crexendo University Program (Crexendo U.P.) and are open to all students at participating colleges and universities.

Crexendo instructor and VP of Web Marketing Parker Garlitz said, “This contest allows students with an entrepreneurial bent to create a website without the large amounts of capital that other types of businesses require. It’s a simple step that almost anyone can take but few do. With this contest, we hope to introduce college students to the exciting world of Web marketing very early in their careers. Web marketing skills are something students can use no matter what career they pursue.”

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Dean Wright

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