MANKATO — Some products sell themselves, like cool phones or shoes.
Other products need a good salesman, like a bike tire, for example. Not exactly the most intriguing item to market.
But West High School senior Isaiah Stock found a way to sell a Continental bicycle tire to a tough crowd, which is why he’s moving on to the international competition of Distributive Education Clubs of America in Anaheim, Calif., this week.
“After they called my name for first place (at state), I don’t even remember what happened really; it was all a blur,” Stock said.
Stock and two dozen of his West classmates competed in a variety of categories at the beginning of March at the state-level competition in Minneapolis.
Stock, Kennedy Maker and John Haley all placed first in categories. First-, second- and third-place finishers qualify to go on to Anaheim, but because the event is during West’s prom, only Stock decided to go, said West DECA advisor Mary Berg.
Stock said he’s gone to seven formal dances in the past, so missing senior prom isn’t a big deal. And the girl he had planned to take understands, he said.
“I’ve had the opportunity to go to prom twice already,” he said.
Berg said some of the metro schools have about 150 students participating at the state level, so the competition is tough.
“For us to take 24 or 25 students and to get three first places, it’s pretty good,” Berg said.
Stock’s category was Professional Selling, and the DECA challenge this year was to create a sales pitch for a bike tire.
“I was supposed to act as a sales rep for a tire manufacturer, pitching their tire to a supply chain manager of a bicycle manufacturer,” Stock said. “I had full creativity on what I wanted to do.”