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Students gain marketing experience through brand ambassador roles

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Maya Martin

Contributor

Campus brand ambassadors are students chosen by companies to represent brands and spread awareness of products on college campuses. The students who participate are placed in an active role that gives them advertising experience and a chance to network.

Hollyann Luker, a senior marketing major from Pell City, has been a campus brand ambassador for Rockstar Inc. since her junior year.

The ambassador role provides hands-on experience for Luker’s major and gives her an idea of how the marketing industry works. 

“It taught me a little bit of responsibility and looks good on a resume, especially because I’m in marketing,” Luker said. “It’s a responsibility but not a hard job.”

She promotes the company by passing out Rockstar energy drinks at social gatherings and oversees photo submissions each month of people having fun while drinking Rockstar. Not only does Rockstar supply the drinks she passes out, but also, the company gives Luker brand merchandise, such as T-shirts and a monthly stipend.

“My friend is a (representative) for Rockstar at Auburn,” Luker said. “They actually needed a (representative) at Troy, so she recommended me since I am a marketing major.”

She interviewed through a conference call and filled out an application to get the position.

Luker collaborates with the University Activities Council (UAC) on events to fulfill her role as ambassador and does her part to actively promote the drinks to Troy’s students. She must produce a certain number of pictures a month and submit the pictures.

“I do sorority or UAC’s events,” Luker said. “I just have to get pictures of people enjoying the drinks.”

Madison Taylor, a junior hospitality management major with a minor in event management from Gulf Shores, is the Troy University brand ambassador for Coca-Cola.

Taylor applied to be a campus brand ambassador through a Facebook post, since she was a marketing major at the time. Taylor’s representative position will help with her new major in hospitality as well. For her first year as a brand ambassador, Taylor organized a total of eight events for the fall semester.

“I’m the first (Coke representative) at Troy, so I’m the guinea pig or the trial run,” Taylor said. “I bring a lot of the products on campus, and I have sampling events.

 “I have two (products) a month for different drinks, like Honest Tea and Peace Tea. I give out free products and give out brand awareness.”

Taylor gets paid for going to events, promoting Coke products and posting on social media. In exchange, Coke gives her merchandise and a week in Atlanta every summer for mandatory training.

“It’s great, and it opens a lot of doors for me,” Taylor said. “My main goal is to work for (Coke) after college. 

“I met a lot of important people on campus, and we’ve exchanged business cards, which is really cool. … But there are a lot of other internship opportunities available each summer.”

The internships are competitive, and there are currently 150 Coke ambassadors throughout the United States. Campus brand ambassadors gain a network through their role and a future place in the company.

Taylor organizes and sets up her displays for events. She collaborates with the UAC to attract consumers and bring more buzz to Coke products.

“Whenever I graduate or whenever I’m done with this job, I’ll help find a new representative to pass the reins to,” Taylor said. “It’s such a good opportunity and all my friends who have the same interest as me, I wish they could have this right now.”

On Sept. 12, the UAC will hold a skate night with Taylor promoting and giving out free products such as Honest Tea, Peace Tee and Dunkin Donuts bottled coffee.