U-Imagine’s new marketing competition offers UC clubs free advertising

U-Imagine offers $5,000 to student marketing teams creating free advertising for clubs

Tom Armstrong

toarmstrong@ursinus.edu

“Dear Club Presidents and Representatives,” the U-Imagine Center recently began an email. The message was an invitation. “Marketing[GN1]  competition…bringing awareness to school clubs…win up to $5,000.”

That got some attention.

The U-Imagine Center is offering every club in the school a free marketing team to help advertise and grow membership. These teams consist of three to five students each who sign up for the competition and are then paired with a club. Clubs receive free marketing and teams have a chance at winning $5,000.

Registration for teams started Sept. 16 and the deadline is currently Sept. 23, but those in charge are looking to extend the deadline to attract more teams.

For clubs, the U-Imagine Center is making it easy. Their policy: if you don’t reply, “Not interested,” your club is in.

Clubs are welcome to work with their assigned marketing team to help develop a plan, but club participation is not necessarily required. Clubs will receive free advertisement whether or not they work with their marketing teams.

“We haven’t had any clubs respond saying they wouldn’t want to participate,” said Devin Thompson, student assistant at the U-Imagine Center.

While clubs and marketing aficionados stand to benefit most directly from the competition, the U-Imagine Center is likely to receive something for their $5,000.

“Our hope is to get our name out there for sure,” said Thompson. “That’s not our main focus though. Our main focus is to bring attention to something that needs attention brought to: clubs.”

Thompson describes the U-Imagine Center as the place to go for anyone with an entrepreneurial idea. Lined with whiteboards and home to a 3D printer, the center welcomes innovators in business and independent projects. The Center is headed by Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Maureen Cumpstone and student assistants like Thompson who understand the impact marketing can have on a college campus. That’s why they’re including every club on campus and any student who’s willing to try their hand at marketing.

“It’s a really open place, [a]physical space where students can come in and create,” said Thompson. “My job is to head the marketing for the U-Imagine Center as well as host events, work the office hours and work on anything [Cumpstone] gives me.”

Right now, Thompson’s chief passion is the marketing competition.

The Center brainstormed the project with a goal to help clubs on campus advertise with whatever was in their budgets to help start, facilitate, and enhance their campaigns.

        The Center is hoping to attract 10-15 teams of three to five students, looking for 30 participants at the least, 75 at the most.

It’s recommended that any member of a club interested in marketing not merely work with a team but register to work in a team, so their work has the chance to win them a few grand as well.

        I spoke to freshman Logan Mazullo, who’s looking to register for the competition as soon as the forms are sent out to all students.

        “I want to enter the competition,” said Mazullo, “but I’m a little worried I’ll get there and have no idea what to do.”

        The Center plans to train students like Mazullo to learn how to hone one’s creativity in productive, professional, and applicable ways. Thompson welcomes students like Mazullo, and even suggests they have the most to gain from the competition.

        “I think it would a fun project to do with some friends, but I’m mostly trying to get some money,” said Mazullo.

Wherever your heart is, the competition appears to grant something to every participant, whether it’s the money, the experience, or the fun of competing against fellow students.

At this time, Thompson hopes to bring the competition out of its expository stages.

“Once we get that team together, we can contact those clubs and say ‘Would you like this marketing team to work with you to help bring awareness to your club?’” said Thompson. “We’re assuming they wouldn’t mind having a free hand in marketing.”