Marketing graduate and WVU Basketball player Jamie Smalligan talks about how his experience on the court has helped him in his career at Total Quality Logistics in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Marketing Overview

Are you...

  • an undergraduate student at West Virginia University?
  • a high school student thinking about where to go to college?
  • strong in both quantitative and qualitative skills?
  • thinking about a career — or a major — in business?

The Field of Marketing

Marketing professionals are involved in planning, promoting, pricing, and distributing products and services. The WVU marketing program is designed to give students a strong understanding of the marketing mix elements used by firms to satisfy customer wants and needs. In addition to the foundations of marketing strategy, the required courses integrate global, societal, and sustainability aspects of the marketplace to give students an appreciation of how marketing strategies are used in the globalized economy as well as in the public and not-for-profit sector. Marketing majors seek jobs in:

  • Marketing Research
  • Professional Sales
  • Social Marketing
  • Digital Marketing
  • Sustainable Marketing
  • Advertising Research and Media Buying
  • Promotions
  • International Business
  • Global Supply Chain, Distribution, and Logistics
  • Product Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Retail Management

Consider Nike

Before the "Swoosh" and before there was Nike, there were two visionary men who pioneered a revolution in athletic footwear that redefined the industry. Bill Bowerman was a nationally respected track and field coach at the University of Oregon. Phil Knight was a talented middle-distance runner from Portland, who enrolled at Oregon in the fall of 1955 and competed for Bowerman's track program. They joined forces and initially became distributors of athletic shoes imported from international manufactures. By the early 1970s, Knight and Bowerman decided to manufacture their own shoes. One particular pair of shoes made a very different impression – literally – on the dozen or so runners who tried them. They featured a new innovation that Bowerman drew from his wife's waffle iron – an outsole that had waffle-type nubs for traction but were lighter than traditional training shoes. From that point, Nike has grown into a $30 billion dollar firm with over 33,000 employees worldwide. The Nike product line has dramatically grown from its early days of offering track shoes.

"Marketing is a fast paced field that combines both analytical skills and creative ability."
-Andy Wood
Chair, Department of Marketing
West Virginia University

But to millions of consumers, Nike is more than shoes and athletic ware. "If you have a body, you are an athlete." When Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman made this observation many years ago, he was defining how he viewed the endless possibilities for human potential in sports. To many people, Nike represents the desire to be free and independent, overcoming all obstacles and social and physical inhibitions and limitations…"Just Do It"

Just like Nike, people buy more than a product or service when they make a purchase. They also buy something beyond the strict functionality of a product. Marketing majors learn how to discover the special something that people want and how to convince them that their product has it. They learn how to create and sell new products and services in ways that will build a large and loyal group of customers.