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KNOXVILLE — Award-winning singer and songwriter Martina McBride, along with her manager and husband, John McBride, and an entourage of interactive marketing experts recently visited the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as guest lecturers.

Their visit kicked off an applied-learning project for an MBA marketing class, which is producing a social media plan for McBride’s newest CD as part of its course curriculum.

“The value that applied-learning experiences bring to our MBA students is significant,” said Jan Williams, dean of UT’s College of Business Administration. “The Martina McBride project enables students to build their skills, knowledge base and network while providing value to industry. We are delighted to be partnering with the McBrides in this way.”

The idea for the project originated with Michael Strickland, chairman of the global entertainment lighting firm Bandit Lites and UT College of Business Administration 2009 Distinguished Alum. Bandit Lites counts McBride as a client. Strickland joined the group for the presentation and was instrumental in bringing the project to reality.

Matt Myers, who is the Nestle USA Professor in Marketing, head of the Department of Marketing and Logistics, and course professor, sees value in using social media as a tool for implementing a sound integrated marketing communications strategy.

“Projects such as these give us the opportunity to introduce innovative ideas into the classroom. Our students leave the program with up-to-date knowledge that can be used in the workplace,” Myers said. “We are increasingly recognizing the power of social media for marketing and the opportunities that it creates for our students.”

For more information about the UT College of Business Administration, visit http://bus.utk.edu.

PHOTO: Pictured left to right are Jan Williams, Martina McBride, Michael Strickland and Matt Myers.

C O N T A C T :

Cindy Raines (865-974-4359, craines1@utk.edu)