Students from the University of Southern Maine are wrapping up a six-week marketing challenge.

A team of undergraduate students at the university’s School of Business – Brian Andrews, Cody Seguin and Ashley Yerrick – was selected as one of the top 10 finalists for the Honda CR-Z Challenge. Launched by Honda in an effort to promote the sport hybrid coupe, the challenge asked students to submit a six-week marketing plan with a budget of $150.

The USM team came up with the “Honda CR-Z Love. Green. Fun. Challenge,” using social media to promote the new vehicle. Since receiving the Honda CR-Z to implement their marketing plan, the students have been driving all over the state, posting regular updates to Facebook and Twitter, as well as creating videos for YouTube.

On Friday and Saturday, they will finish their campaign with the “Honda CR-Z Love. Green. Fun. Challenge Drive for Hunger.” From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. both nights, the car will be parked on the patio of the Oasis at 42 Wharf St. in Portland.

The team is asking people to drop off nonperishable food items to fill the car with. For donations of food, the Oasis will hand out drink discounts and offer a showcased drink on special with the proceeds to benefit a local charity.

“We are asking for anything, because to a family in need there is no such thing as ‘too little’ of a donation,” Seguin said.

After this weekend, the students will have to return the vehicle and file all the data collected from their marketing efforts. Honda will review the work done by the 10 teams and select the top three to invite to Honda headquarters and offer virtual internships to students involved. The first-place team will be invited to attend the major product launch in April 2011.

Seguin said this event “is what we need for our final presentation for the contest.”

“I think as the team and competition stands now, we are doing pretty good (on our campaign), but those last week numbers are what can separate us from the pack,” he said.

For more information about the team’s efforts, search “Honda CR-Z Love. Green. Fun. Challenge” on Facebook.