Innovation Challenges

Direct Effect® Innovation Challenges are experiential learning events that bring together students from multiple colleges to design and develop integrated marketing campaigns in response to real-life marketing challenges, all in a single day.

Innovation Challenges can be held in-person or virtually. You can find our extensive guide on running an Innovation Challenge at your school on the Classroom Tools page


Cincinnati Direct Effect® Innovation Challenge

Six student teams from four colleges in the greater Cincinnati area were prompted to create an integrated marketing campaign to address Cincinnati Bells primary marketing concern: help the regional telecommunications company competing against larger national competitors by

Targeting the Millennial and Gen Z consumer populations with an enticing advertising campaigns
Recruiting local businesses to thecompany’s broadband internet service

Cincinnati Bell’s live-client challenge, developed for the Innovation Challenge event, was packaged for use in the classroom. To access the live-client challenge and its associated resources, please visit the Classroom Tools page.

Participating Schools


Xavier University

Miami University of Ohio


SUNY Farmingdale Innovation Challenge

Seven student teams from six colleges across the country competed virtually to see who could create the best integrated marketing campaign in response to live-client Mohawk's business challenge: help the international paper company grow their virtual audience and opt-in lists while their primary lead generation source, The Mohawk Maker Quarterly, is temporarily out of service due to COVID restrictions.

Hosted by SUNY Farmingdale, this virtual Innovation Challenge was supported by the Direct Effect® Innovation Challenge Facilitator’s Guide, a free resource for schools to use when running their own Innovation Challenges, found on the Classroom Tools page.

Participating Schools

Winner - Farmingdale State College

Past Direct Effect®
Innovation Challenges

Wilkes-Barre Direct Effect
Innovation Challenge

April 2019

New York Direct Effect
Innovation Challenge

September 2019

Innovation Challenge

October 2019

Cincinnati Direct Effect
Innovation Challenge

November 2019

America250PA Virtual
Innovation Challenge

October 2020

SUNY Farmingdale Virtual
Direct Effect
® Innovation Challenge
November 2020

Get Involved

Think you might like to host near-by schools for a Direct Effect® Innovation Challenge? Would your organization like to serve as a live-client, or support an Innovation Challenge as a sponsor? There are plenty of ways to get involved. Get in touch by emailing: