A national collegiate sales competition showcasing the talents of "hot" Sales and Marketing students

UW-Eau Claire Center for Sales & Sales Management
UW-Eau Claire College of Business
UW-Eau Claire

The Great Northwoods Sales Warm-Up is a 2½ day national collegiate sales competition that showcases the talents of 60+ "hot" marketing and sales students from across the United States. It is a transformative learning experience; many student competitors describe the event as the greatest decision of their college career.

The Sales Warm-Up connects college students with corporate recruiters who share their passion for sales as a profession. It also provides a venue where faculty can network and exchange best practices with one another.

The sales competition is open to undergraduate business students who are currently enrolled as full-time students. Students must be currently enrolled in or have completed at least one college-level professional selling course. Student groups must be accompanied by a faculty adviser.

At the Sales Warm-Up, students work hard, play hard, and get results.


All Sales Warm-Up contestants make two different 20-minute sales presentations to sales professionals who act as buyers. A panel of sales managers from sponsoring companies evaluates students on all elements of the sales call including their ability to communicate effectively and act in a professional manner. Following each presentation, Sales Warm-Up contestants have a half-hour debriefing session with one of their judges. This one-on-one time with a sales professional is highly valued by our students and their faculty coaches, and it is an activity that distinguishes our sales competition from others. Students also will receive their evaluation sheets and a link to a digital recording of their presentations.

Students have many opportunities throughout the Sales Warm-Up to meet sponsors and learn about career opportunities at their companies. Contestants and registered non-contestants can submit their resumes prior to the competition to the Sales Warm-Up staff for inclusion in a resume booklet that is distributed to sponsors. Events like the Northwoods Opener and Career Fair are designed for networking. Special incentives for students further promote interaction.


We work hard at the Sales Warm-Up, but we make time to have fun. The Fun Night Dinner & Entertainment is a fun and relaxing way to spend Friday night. Saturday's Warm-Up Trivia Contest hosted by UW-Eau Claire marketing faculty can get a bit silly. Students compete for prizes brought by sponsors and universities by answering questions about little known facts about competing universities. The Wisconsin cheese head is always one of the first prizes to go. Drawings for the mystery corporate representative and professional development incentive are held during this event.


At the Hormel Cool-Down Celebration Banquet Saturday evening, we feast on a dinner featuring top of the line Hormel meat products. We view photos from the weekend taken by UW-Eau Claire's award-winning photographers. The top three Sales Warm-Up contestants and the top sales person from each school are announced. All receive awards and cash prizes. Every student contestant receives a certificate of participation and the famous Sales Warm-Up blanket.


Winners will be announced and awards will be presented at the Saturday night Celebration Banquet. All student competitors will receive a certificate of participation.


Individual Awards

Best Overall Sales Person: $1,500 plus a custom suit valued at $1,000 from Tom James

First Runner-Up: $1,000

Second Runner-Up: $750

School Champion Award

Best Overall Contestant from each school:
$150 and a trophy


Meet Sales Warm-Up Sponsors at the Career Fair

Career Opportunities

All students with the required number of sponsor visit stamps will earn the Warm-Up Tumbler.

Sponsors will award a limited number of Golden Tickets for those students having an outstanding interview with them. Golden Tickets will be entered in a drawing for the Yeti Cooler (delivered to your home address).

travel information/directions

The Great Northwoods Sales Warm-Up is held in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus and at The Lismore Hotel in Downtown Eau Claire, WI. Eau Claire is 90 miles from the Minneapolis - St. Paul (MSP) Airport.



warm-up welcome center


Davies Center Ojibwe Room (330)
Open Thursday and Friday.

This is the place to go for any assistance, name badges, programs schedules and other competition materials.


Thursday Reception and Saturday (all parties) Park behind Davies Center. Parking permits are not needed.

Friday (students and coaches) – A shuttle will run continuously from the Lismore Hotel to Schneider Hall and Davies Center.

Friday (sponsors) – Parking is available in the HSS Parking Lot located on Water Street. A shuttle from this lot will be available to bring you to events in Schneider Hall and the Davies Center. The shuttle will run continuously.

Please read parking signs carefully and remember that we cannot be responsible for tickets issued during the event.

dress suggestions

Thursday Opener Reception
Business casual. Team photos will be taken so students may wish to wear school shirts.

Friday and Saturday
Business professional.

Friday Night Fun Night
Jeans and school shirts or whatever you like to relax in.

Saturday Night Awards Banquet
Business professional.


The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire regularly produces photographs of people in its publications, in promotional and marketing materials, and on its website in order to promote UW-Eau Claire to the campus community and general public. A photographer will be taking photos at this event. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Check back in early December to view photos from the competition.