Thunder Sales Competition

April 11, 2024, 4:00-9:00 PM
SUU Student Center Ballroom

Welcome to the SUU Annual Thunder Sales Competition! As the highlight of the Professional Sales program every year, Thunder Sales aims to provide experiences for you to practice the sales skills you’ve been learning all year long and connect you with potential employers. You do not have to be in the sales program or even have taken a sales class to compete! This competition is open to all students on campus, for any major and any class.

Sign Up


(Please note, timing is subject to change):

March 21, 2024

  • 4:00-5:00 pm - Workshop (Located in BUS 240)

April 2, 2024

  • 4:00-5:00 pm - Workshop (Located in BUS 240)

April 11, 2024

  • 4:00-4:30 pm - Mix n' Mingle/Career Fair Begins
  • 4:30-5:15 pm - Personal Pitch Competition
  • 5:30-6:30 pm - Sales Role Play Competition Round 1
  • 6:30 pm - Career Fair Ends, Dinner Starts (Catered by High Voltage BBQ)
  • 7:00-8:15 pm - Sales Role Play Competition Round 2
  • 8:30 pm - Competition Results (Winner’s Announced)


Thunder Sales is composed of three main parts to the event: a 1-minute personal speed pitch, a sales role play, and a sales role play final.

New to 2024, SUU ProSales has added a career fair to the competition. Representatives from sponsoring companies and judges are invited to attend and network with student participants.

The Career Fair will run from the event start time at 4:00 pm until 6:30 pm overlapping with the Personal Pitch Competition and Role Play Round 1. This opportunity is provided so students can engage with prospective employers and our sponsors and judges can further get to know our students. Though this portion of the event is not required, it is highly encouraged for all parties!

Also new to this year's competition, we have added two Thunder Sales Workshops on March 21 and April 2 in BUS 240 from 4-5 pm. These workshops are to provide assistance in refining and working your personal speed pitches as well as your role play pitches. We will have examples of each for you to view in person and the space will be open for questions, practice and feedback.

For further details, please review the competition rules and for a breakdown of the individual parts of the competition see the information below.

For this portion of the event, all students are invited to attend to pitch themselves in front of various businesses. It is a great opportunity to practice sales, introduce yourself to hiring companies, and win prizes for the best personal pitches! 8 prizes total will be awarded – 4 first place winners and 4 second place winners. First place winners will receive $100 gift cards, second place will receive $50 gift cards. Only 60 competitors are allowed to compete. The judging criteria for the speed pitch includes only two questions. We ask each judge to answer (1) “how confident were they at selling themselves?” and (2) “would you hire this person?” and rank each participant on a scale of 1-5 for each question. Your scores are totaled from the four judges you pitch to to determine your overall score. View the video below for an example of a speed pitch (coming soon!).

Students participating in this competition will be divided into 4 groups then divided again into 4 sections. For example, you could be assigned to Group A, Section 1 or Group C, Section 4. Your group assignment determines where you present your speed pitch and to which judges. Your section assignment determines when you present your pitch. 

There will be a total of four rounds. All those assigned to section 1 will present first within your assigned group and all four section 1’s will present at the same time. Each student in that section will present four times - once for each judge within your group. Once that section has rotated through all four judges, we will switch to the next section, section 2, and do the same thing again all the way through section 4. Again, scores will be a cumulative total between all the judges in your assigned group. Each group will then have a first and second place winner for a total of four first place winners and four second place winners.

Speed Pitch Examples

All students are invited to compete in presenting a sales pitch based on a case study which we will provide to a panel of judges. Only the first 16 students to register will be allowed to compete, and some of those will come from the Professional Sales Advanced Selling Techniques class (MKTG 4930). The case study will become available to you once you’ve registered for the event. Previous case studies can be viewed below. 

For this first round, you are given 15 min to make your presentation and gain the opportunity to advance to the next round, a meeting to close the deal. Each student will privately present one at a time to your assigned judge, please view the competition rules for further details. Judges will score each participant based on the criteria found in the competition rubric. Your cumulative scores from each judge will determine the finalists. The top 4 competitors from round 1 will compete in Part 3, the final round. 

*Please note, students taking the MKTG 4930 Advanced Selling Techniques, a class within the Sales Program, are required to participate in this portion of the competition.

Sales Roleplay Example

The top 4 competitors from the role play competition will pitch again for their chance to win 1st-3rd place. You are to have prepared a closing pitch for this portion and are given another 15 min to complete the sale. This part of the competition will take place on the main stage in the ballroom in front of the general audience. As before, judges will score each participant based on the criteria  found in the competition rubric. The cumulative scores from each judge will determine the winners of the competition. 1st place will win the grand prize of $1,000 and a unique 3D printed Thor Hammer created by the SUU Makerspace, 2nd receives $500, and 3rd receives $250.

  • The Mix n’ Mingle is an opportunity for all participants to meet the judges before the competition starts. It is an opportunity to network, to meet with friends, and relax so you are better prepared for the speed pitch. Though this portion of the competition is not required to be attended, it is highly encouraged.
  • Dinner will be provided for all attendees (judges, participants, audience members). This year’s caterer is High Voltage BBQ. Advance notice of additional guests is required and space is limited. Extra space will be provided on a first come first serve basis. 
  • The ProSales program uses this competition to choose the following year’s sales team that travels to competitions across the entire country. At the end of the competition, 4 competitors will be asked to join next year’s (24-25) sales team and receive team jackets.
  • Due to the generosity of this year's competition sponsors, a scholarship fund has been created to be given to one or more competitors from this year. Funds are still growing and details are still being determined. Stay tuned for more information!


  • federated insurance logo
  • B-Z-I steel logo
  • Fastenal logo
  • Northwestern Mutual logo
  • Control Qore logo
  • American Pacific logo
  • Leavitt Group logo

Previous Events

2023 Competition Winners
1st: Marlee Ressler - $500
2nd: Carter Barlow - $350
3rd: Luke Perkins - $200

Out of the 48 people who signed up, a total of 12 awards were handed out, which included $50 and $100 gift cards to the second and first place personal pitch winners, respectively, as well as up to $500 to the role play winners.

Carter Barlow, a recent SUU graduate who studied business management and marketing and served as a Professional Sales Ambassador during the 2022-2023 school year, has done several competitions throughout his time in the program and enjoys the competitive nature of the event. He won one of the $100 first place prizes in the personal pitch along with second place $350 prize in the final role play round.

In Barlow’s experience, the competitions he’s participated in have been highly valuable for developing skills in sales, communication, and networking, and they’ve allowed him to hone his competitive side. According to him, there were a few reasons he participated in this competition.

“I was a Professional Sales ambassador, and I’m in the advanced professional sales class so it was part of our grade as well, but I honestly just competed because I wanted to win,” Barlow says.

His desire to compete and win is what brought him second place in the role play portion, and through his active participation in Professional Sales at SUU, Barlow has learned that preparation is the most important factor in sales and for these competitions. He advises that anyone else interested in these events should prepare as much as they can in order to be prepared for whatever might be thrown at them. 

In addition to second place in the role-play competition, Barlow took one of four $100 first place titles in the personal pitch, with the other winners including Marlee Ressler, Dani Nikolashin, and Alexis McIff. The four $50 second place winners were Amberly Mikkelson, Luke Perkins, Miranda Garza, and Chantel Clark. From the role play, Ressler also took both the $500 first place and $100 People’s Choice awards, and Perkins took the $200 third place award.

2022 competition winners
1st: Matthew Matheson
2nd: Davis Chipman
3rd: Megan Bury

Over 30 students participated in this year’s competition, students Matthew Matheson, Davis Chipman, and Megan Bury earned the top spots. Matheson took home a Thor hammer - a unique prize created by the SUU Makerspace - along with his top choice of prize from Zonos.

“This was an incredible opportunity to get hands-on experience in professional sales,” said Matheson. “It was exciting to have Zonos come and sponsor the competition. Kurt Wankier prepared our class well. We practiced hard and the result was rewarding. I’m so excited to see the Sales Program continue to grow at SUU.”

The competition began with a series of speed pitches to judges from the local business community. Students from disciplines across campus competed and winners included Jo B Shurtliff, Cameron Morgan, Megan Bury, Madelyn Tebbs, Davis Chipman, Jordan Howe, Keiko Schwartz, and Megan Allart.

Following the speed pitch, students of the new Advanced Selling Techniques class presented three minute case study pitches to judges from the event sponsor, Zonos. The night finished with a final round of pitches from five finalists, seniors Isaiah Tate, Megan Bury, and Matthew Matheson and juniors Ethan Vawdrey and Davis Chipman.

To see more photos of past competitions, check out our Event Gallery


For more information, general competition questions, concerns, etc, please contact Maree Beach at (435) 865-8433 or For questions regarding the case study and pitches contact Kurt Wankier at