Like many successful entrepreneurs, Matt Anderson and Adam Graham got inspired when they paid attention to something that had been bugging them for months.
It had been staring them right in the face all along — the same old ads, month after month, in the men’s washrooms on campus. The third-year management students began hashing out a plan to establish a campus advertiser as a way to change up the advertising content. Their goals were to give marketing and design students the chance to gain practical experience in sales and ad design, give local businesses the opportunity to reach the student demographic, and provide some alternative revenues to campus departments hosting the ads. CampAd was born.
In the past year, they’ve put together a value proposition, crafted a business plan and worked with the U of L Department of Sport and Recreation Services to install some advertising in the 1st Choice Savings Centre. Anderson and Graham wanted to focus on ads that spoke to students, like where to get pizza or have winter tires installed.
“I was teamed up with Robb Engen from Sport and Recreation Services and Jim Booth, executive director of Ancillary Services. We collaborated on how we could make this happen and how we could bring some of these local resources to the students and we ended up, over this summer, replacing the existing national advertising with CampAd in the 1st Choice Savings Centre,” says Anderson.
Small business owners in the community have responded positively, says Anderson. CampAd allows them an additional pathway to advertise to the student market and can also help them access design services. Design students who participate in CampAd will get access to mentors in the field to help them with advertising design. Marketing students who join CampAd will gain practical experience in sales, in addition to a part-time job where they can earn commissions.
“We give portions of our revenue from advertisements to the University department that we are operating in. So far this month we’ve provided the 1st Choice Savings Centre with almost $1,000 in alternative revenues,” says Anderson.
Their long-term goal is to spread CampAd to other university campuses but first they want to expand within the U of L and become known in the Lethbridge business community.
“It’s been an amazing year for Adam and I; we’ve learned a lot,” he says, adding the greatest learning has probably been overcoming the fear of sales and making cold calls. “I’m proud to say that the University of Lethbridge was very accommodating in launching a student initiative like this one.”
Anyone who’d like more information can contact Graham and Anderson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.