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Best Branded Merch in a University Marketing Campaign

Best Branded Merch in a University Marketing Campaign

Show your school spirit at the 2023 AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education! The AMA is excited to partner with Promotional Products Work (PPAI) to bring a brand new award to this year’s Symposium. All Higher Ed Marketers are invited to submit a nomination for the best branded merchandise used in a university marketing campaign!

For a University to be eligible for the Best Branded Merchandise in a University Marketing Campaign Award:

  • Branded merchandise must have been produced and distributed within the last three (3) calendar years.
  • Branded merchandise must have made a significant impact on the University‚Äôs campus.

Sustainable and environmentally friendly submissions are highly encouraged, and all nominees will be considered regardless of organization size and budget.

The winner will be presented with an award during Spirit Day, November 15, at the Symposium!

Nominations are due November 2, 2023.


Eligibility and Process

To be eligible for the AMA and PPAI Award for the Best Branded Merchandise in a University Marketing Campaign, nominees must be currently employed at a higher education institution. All nominees will be considered regardless of organization size and budget.

Everyone is invited to submit nominees by completing an online application by November 2. The application will include:

  • Contact information for the University Representative.
  • An image or video of the branded merchandise and/or marketing campaign the merchandise is associated with.
  • A short essay (<500 words) that explains the positive impact the branded merchandise/marketing campaign had on the university. For example, the essay could highlight what the branded items did to build student loyalty, drive admissions, how it made the campaign unique or innovative or how it was environmentally sustainable. See the Sample Campaign Description example below.

The winner will be announced at the Symposium on Spirit Day, Wednesday, November 15.

Please note that current AMA Symposium committee members are not eligible for the award and do not participate in award selection.



Award Criteria

Nominations must adhere to the following criteria:

  • Branded merchandise must have been produced and distributed within the last three (3) calendar years.
  • Branded merchandise must have made a significant impact on campus.
  • Extra points if branded merchandise is sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Sample Campaign Description

Airbnb’s “Night At” Experiences

Airbnb, the popular online marketplace for accommodations, used promotional products in a creative way through their “Night At” experiences. They offered unique and exclusive overnight stays in unusual locations, such as underwater bedrooms, treehouses, and iconic landmarks.

As part of the experience, guests received customized and branded amenities, including personalized welcome kits, branded toiletries, and Airbnb-themed merchandise. These promotional products not only provided practical use during the stay but also served as memorable souvenirs that further reinforced the connection to the Airbnb brand.

By incorporating promotional products into these extraordinary experiences, Airbnb created a sense of exclusivity and excitement for their guests. The branded items extended the brand experience beyond the stay itself, acting as conversation starters and reminders of the unique adventure they had with Airbnb.

This innovative use of promotional products helped Airbnb differentiate itself in the travel industry, attract media attention, and generate positive word-of-mouth marketing, showcasing the potential of promotional products to enhance brand experiences and create lasting memories for customers.


Sponsored by Promotional Products Work (PPAI)