Ford Motor Company joined in on the week’s Homecoming events on Monday, with the Ford Drives U Homecoming Kick-Off.
With free food, showcased vehicles including a customized FAMU Ford Flex, and services from Sam’s Club representatives, the Ford Drives U event kept students flocking to the Student Service Center to learn firsthand about Ford’s new Microsoft-developed SYNC technology, and register for special discounted Sam’s Club memberships.
Clifford Stubbs and Ramsay McCoy, brand ambassadors for Ford, said they have been planning the event for months.
“Planning started in the summer,” said Stubbs, 22, a psychology student from West Palm Beach. “It was up to us to identify places and marketing strategies.”
The two students planned and executed the event as part of their work with RepNation, a public relations firm, which provides internships for major brands including Ford, Dell, and JetBlue.
The event was part of a competition between 25 schools vying for supremacy in categories like “top idea,” “top events,” and “top photos.”
Stubbs and McCoy said they were given a $500 marketing budget and help from a local Ford dealership.
Both said they were lucky to have two additional tools at their disposal, the Tallahassee network and knowledge of the student population.
“We began in working on concepts and ideas in the summer,” said McCoy, 21, a public relations student from Houston, Tx. “[We were] reaching out, networking every week [and] talking to different marketing reps.”
Stubbs said he got the idea to contact Jamaal Raddar, the assistant manager of Sam’s Club. Together he said they created a marketing plan to highlight the affordability of Ford motor vehicles and the value of Sam’s Club membership.
As the Ford brand showcased the 2009 Focus, representatives from Sam’s Club offered membership specials such as a $15 gift card with a $40 membership and a limited time $10 membership that lasts for ten weeks.
Students seemed very receptive to this, like James Dunnington, 19, a business student, who said the event was very fun.
“It’s good,” said Dunnington, a Washington, D.C. native. “They’re trying to give the community an opportunity to find out about services they may not know about.”
While some saw this as a form of corporate outreach, many students simply showed up to enjoy a few slices of free pizza.
Stubbs and McCoy said the day was a success.
“I’m pleased,” McCoy said of the turnout. “Our goal was to get a couple hundred people out here.”
By the end of the first round of pizza, McCoy had counted over 200 new registrants for free Fandango movie tickets and information on the Ford Drives U College Purchase Program.
For more information on the Ford Drives U program www.forddrivesu.com/500