Jewelry, brownies, pumpkin decorating and breast cancer ribbons – a student passing by the UC Rock and breezeway can get it all, including in-your-face advertising.
This semester, the university has rented the Rock to Toyota, Victoria’s Secret, BMW and most recently Vault energy drink. For students, renting the Rock, patio or tables in the breezeway is free of charge and rented on a first come, first serve basis.
“UM students are always given priority over non-UM companies”, said Dan Westbrook, director and coordinator of the University Center.
For non-UM companies, the fees start at $500 dollars a day. This doesn’t include special services such as early-morning setup or bringing automobiles on campus, which cost an additional fee. Some companies spend more than $1,000 for one day.
Westbrook is in charge of working with the companies who want to rent the Rock. According to standard policy set by Business Services, companies must request the space at least two weeks in advance..
“If these companies want to rent, they must meet all UM requirements. That involves insurance and payment,” Westbrook said. “It is standard policy of the university, set by Business Services and abided by all over campus.”
Westbrook added that in contrast to Business Services, he prefers a semester notice from companies.
The companies must also be screened by Westbrook to determine if they will follow university advertising rules. There is a list of rules the companies must follow in regards to what they can and cannot bring on campus including weapons and fireworks.
Westbrook said the university has also turned away businesses such as credit card companies due to competition with products already sold on campus.
Non-UM companies promoting on campus have been very consistent for many years with hardly any changes in the amount of them, Westbrook said. The only factor that would change the number of companies would be when the rental rates have increased.
Allison Bernstein, a junior, enjoys the advertising because “they give away the free stuff. It’s entertaining and lures you in.”
She also thinks promoting on campus is good marketing.
In contrast, Jaimee Spector, a junior, said the advertising can be negative.
“If people are constantly bothering you to check out their product every time you pass them,” she said.
Kelly Schmitz, a freshman, agrees that these companies may annoy students so much that no one ends up visiting their booth and actually avoids it.
“I think having tours while companies are promoting can be bad because it can disrupt their flow of attention to the tour,” she said.
Erin Lockwood may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of the companies that have advertised on the Rock
Bank of America (checking and savings)
Washington Mutual (checking and savings)
US Navy (careers)
US Marines (careers)
T-Mobile USA (cell phones)
Vineyard Vines (clothing)
The Miami Herald (subscriptions)
The Eyeglass Place
NCompass (Toyota Alternative Careers Expo)
Alloy Marketing (Ralph Lauren Fragrances)
Victoria’s Secret: Pink
South Florida Blood Bank