Program Dates


Media Scholars Program

  • Registration OpensNov 14
  • Qualifying RoundNov 14 - Feb 11
  • Case CompetitionFeb 25 - Mar 27
  • Media Scholars WeekJun 7-12
  • Networking ReceptionJun 11

Media Fellows Program

  • Application DueNov 12, 2014

Past Case Competitions

2013 A New Baseball Stadium for the Central Coast Seabirds

Semi-finalist teams developed a $6.5 million media plan (for a five-month campaign) to generate public support for a new, waterfront, baseball stadium for the Central Coast Seabirds.

The hypothetical ad campaign was financed by Maria Adams, the owner of the Seabirds. Maria had in hand the financing and the approval of all other league owners except one (who had voted “present”). The missing pieces were the necessary zoning permits and authorizations from the Central Coast City Council. But before those votes and hearings were scheduled, Maria wanted to make sure there was public support in place.

2012 The “Yes” Media Plan for Proposition A

Thirty semi-finalist teams developed a $4 million media plan to promote a “Yes” vote on Proposition A. The hypothetical ad campaign was financed by the Pacific Coast City Cultural Association. The voters of Pacific City would go to the polls in six months to vote up or down on a $900 million bond issue to improve and endow the city’s cultural institutions.

The 2012 case inspired the closest competition in WMSF history. Judges made room for a seventh team to become finalists and participate in Media Scholars Week in Washington.

2011 Media Plan Case Competition

The 2011 registered teams developed a strategic media plan on behalf of Voters for Local Online Choice, an ad-hoc coalition that was urging a “no” vote in a referendum election. The main antagonist in the 2011 case study, Ryan Mellis, was tasked with developing the right mix of media (paid communications and advertising) to turn out the target voter.

Teams of two had $2 million to distribute prior to election day. A great deal of money, but nothing compared to the millions of dollars in government contracts at stake should Ryan not come through with a solid media plan.

2010 Media Plan Case Competition

2010 Media Plan Case Competition participants assumed the role of Jane Powell, the newly hired campaign manager for Gadget International, creating a media plan that they would submit to “Gadget’s senior management” for approval.

Before the narrative and creative portion of the advertising strategy could be discussed, “Jane” first needed an overall media plan and budget approved. With a budget of $1.5 million to $2.5 million, “Jane” created a month-by-month advertising strategy, which would tip the referendum under consideration in this low-turnout election, in her — and Gadget International’s — favor.

Written submissions were thoroughly evaluated and the top six media plans became the strategy teams’ tickets to Washington, DC and Media Scholars Week.