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Bronx student accepts NASCAR challenge

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A college student found herself switching her major to Marketing while taking part in a NASCAR motor sports program that challenges students to work on company projects.

Nikeema Kadary is a 21-year-old native of the Grand Concourse. She is currently attending Howard University in Washington D.C., and was selected to be a member of the school’s NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion team.

NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion is a program designed to teach students marketing and public relations skills through competition with students at other schools. The students work on projects that develop strategic relationships between NASCAR auto racing and other businesses and non-profits.

“The first case study that we worked on was based on partnering NASCAR, a motor sports company, with an after-school program,” Kadary said. “African-American children would get to see how the cars work, and in the process learn math and science. This would broaden NASCAR’s customer base and help the children gain experience and get ahead academical­ly.”

After completing her first week of case studies, Kadary filed the paperwork to change her major from History to Public Relations, with a minor in Sports Administration. The school’s team is presented with four new case studies every week, and has to develop proposals dealing with how NASCAR can partner with others to enhance their own business. The program selects new students every semester.

Students receive regular feedback from employees and management at NASCAR, who review each assignment and invite the three best teams to their headquarters in Daytona, Florida to make final presentations before a panel, which decide the winner.

“I think that we definitely have a much better team than last year,” Kadary, who had friends on last semester’s team, said. “We are all committed, and hopefully we will be one of the three teams who create a successful enough proposal to make it to Daytona.”

Talia Mark, who oversees the NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion program said that it is designed for highly-motivated students who maintain at least a 2.5 G.P.A. and are interested in learning more about successful marketing campaigns.

“The program is set up so the students are put in the shoes of what I would do on a daily basis either for NASCAR or one of our partners,” Mark said. “The main purpose of the program is to educate the college student on what NASCAR is in terms of the different facets of the business-world of motor sports.”

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