Each year KPMG holds many interesting events for students. At the start of the Bolshoi Theatre's current 238th season, KPMG became one of its official sponsors, and the idea of a student competition naturally followed from this. The competition took place over several stages in December. Initially, all the entrants, who numbered more than 300 and came not just from Moscow, had to complete an elimination round assignment: to prepare a presentation on the topic "Analysis of the competitive environment of the Bolshoi Theatre in Russia and globally" and to write an essay on "What initiatives would enable the Bolshoi Theatre to be recognised as a global brand?". 34 students went through to the semi-final, held at KPMG in Moscow on 16 December.
Eight teams were randomly formed from the semi-finalists, and each had to develop a concept aimed at promoting the Bolshoi Theatre in Russia and globally, to think up souvenirs with symbols of the theatre, and to propose three key initiatives to promote the brand among young people. The task was made harder by the fact that the students on each team had never met each other and only had a short time to come up with ideas and demonstrate their economic and marketing effectiveness. The presentations were assessed by KPMG professionals, who also selected the three teams going through to the final.
The final took place on 21 December in the large rehearsal hall of the Bolshoi Theatre's New Stage. The presentations were assessed by a distinguished jury, including not only KPMG's Evgenia Schipalova and Andrey Nagurniy but also representatives of the Bolshoi Theatre: General Director Vladimir Urin, Deputy General Director Anton Getman and Head of Sponsorship Natalya Paroyatnikova. The twists and turns in the competition were also observed by students from the Moscow Art Theatre Studio School Faculty of Production.
All three teams delivered highly creditable presentations: their ideas were genuinely interesting (some could be put into practice soon), and they dealt confidently with the questions from the jury and students in the audience. As a result it proved so hard to pick a single winner that the jury picked two. Each student in the winning teams received a prize from KPMG: two tickets to any Bolshoi Theatre performance. The students on the third team did not miss out either: Vladimir Urin had words of encouragement for them and they too received tickets to any Bolshoi Theatre performance.
"We are very happy that this issue proved so interesting to the student community. The youngsters really thought about their proposals, and used social networking services to invite their friends to test out their ideas and carry out surveys. As a result, we gained well-designed creative solutions and heard the views of young people on their vision for the theatre. On a personal note, I found the competition hugely invigorating!" said Evgenia Schipalova, Head of Markets, KPMG in Russia and the CIS.