Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Students promote brands

College students are no strangers to free stuff, and it’s not uncommon for a dorm room to include a pile of T-shirts, pairs of sunglasses, tote bags and product samples, all accumulated from booths, strangers and stands. Chances are, if you’re in college, you collected these things for free just by simply being on campus, and they were designed to get you interested.

Student brand ambassadors, also known as student brand managers, get paid or endorsed to represent a company on a university campus. Their main job is to get the word out about a particular brand, or product. This often involves giving away free items.

“Everybody likes free stuff,” Jesse Warshaw, a sophomore majoring in economics, said.

(See also “Take advantage of free food in college“)

Warshaw is the campus representative for The American Fishing Tackle Company, AFTCO, and its licensee, Guy Harvey. In addition to weekly raffles to give away anything from stickers to shirts, Warshaw said he helps promote all the ocean-oriented philanthropy events and groups on campus, including the UA Fly Fishing Team.

Warshaw and other student brand managers are employed by companies to help promote their brands from a student perspective. The student reps often receive merchandise and samples to give away to promote interest in the companies they represent. Warshaw said the biggest benefit for him is that he gets to expand his network.

“It just gives me a chance to meet new people with a common interest,” Warshaw said. “It gives me the opportunity to explore different venues in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to if I hadn’t been a rep.”

Emily Nieman, a senior majoring in Spanish on the pre-med track, is a campus representative for the Double Cola brand. Nieman said she balances running her own events and teaming up with other organizations and gets paid based on the number of events she does. Double Cola hosts tasting events, and she said in the fall she organized a couple of tailgates. She also said she tries to go to small parties that campus clubs have to give away the cans of soda.

(See also “The soda wars: Pepsi vs. Coke“)

Nieman said working for Double Cola has given her more than just a traditional student job might.

“It’s a great way to gain experience, one, with public speaking and learning how to coordinate events. But two, it gives you good marketing experience,” Nieman said. “It could help me with future jobs.”

Another person who is no stranger to giving away free stuff is Morgan Daniels, a senior majoring in public relations. Daniels is currently a representative for Microsoft Windows and a former L’Oreal representative. Daniels was shipped 500 boxes of hair dye after she was hired by L’Oreal. She said she hosted multiple gatherings at her house to entice people to try the new product that the company was trying to promote. She also gave away the free samples, along with coupon books, to all the sorority houses on campus.

Daniels said she’s hopeful that being a representative will potentially land her a full-time job with one of the companies she has worked with. She believes it will give her a better chance to get a job because she does have the experience.

(See also “AdTeam, advertising awards give students work experience“)

“It’s going to be really helpful for me in the long run, no matter what job I end up taking,” Daniels said. “It’s just so applicable to any other job, just the people skills and the networking skills, and just the general outgoing personality I had to establish and go with.”

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