What: Internship for WKU’s Advertising and Public Relation
Position: Event Manager
When: April 5th, 2008
This was my first official internship and I had a lot to learn and prove. Cliff Shalua, Ad+PR coordinator, after seeing a presentation on the Halo 3 advertising campaign spoke to me about Gameathon after class. I think my passion for games was rather obvious. He explained the history of the event and asked me if I was interested in the internship. I was interested in a gaming competition. I love video games and thought I had the leadership skills to pull it together.
At first I had no clue what I was doing. Like a sponge, I soaked up every bit of information on Gameathon I could find. I literally immersed myself in the event. I also planned down to the last minor detail. I made lists and went through each detail during our Gameathon weekly meetings. At times my email box would receive 25 to 50 Gameathon related emails a day. I spent between 10 and 30 hours a week on the event. This was an unpaid internship but I was determined to make this event great or die trying.
When I started planning, I was working with Becca Clark and Laura Crowder. I quickly grew the team adding Russel Gonzales, Elizabeth Mitaikostas, Rachel Koontz, James Davis, Bridget Boone and many others. By the end of planning, I had built a solid team over 26 awesome and dedicated individuals.
The biggest issue was that the 2008 event budget was only 3,500 dollars. We were lucky to get RentACenter to step up and sponsor the event at the last minute.
In any case, 3,500 is hardly enough for any substantial Advertising efforts. Nevertheless, my team used Web 2.0 social technologies like Facebook, MySpace and created an online Blog. We also used cost effective ad mediums like the WKU College Heights Herald, Student Affairs page and posters that literally covered every building on WKU’s campus and community. In the end, through all of my team’s promotional efforts, we had 220+ registered gamers rolling into game day. That is a 40% increase over 2007 where there was a budget of 2,000 more! Featured below is one of our viral videos we created and distriubed on the website and on YouTube.com.
I also expanded the event. I invisitioned Mass Media and Technology Hall maximizing Gameathon by using the 50 foot Auditorium screen and expanding into more game rooms. We played 4 rooms of 25+ for Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4. Over 100 gamers signed up for both Halo 3 and COD4! We had 8 teams of Rock Band, 48 people set to play Guitar Hero 3, and 32 in Madden 2008. All in all, an incredible turn out considering the promo budget and regional size.
Players competed for a 26 inch LCD TV, surround sound system, 50 dollar Game Stop gift cards, and a number of other small “swag” prizes. We gave special WKU Gameathon t-shirts away and sold them at the event for 12 dollars. They are also featured in the pictures below.
On April 5th, my team was set up and ready for the opening at 10 a.m. Although we did have a power outage and a hard time with the bracket system, game day was a blast. Everyone on my team had a really good time. I know that I did my best and to this day have no regrets.
I am now on the Gameathon board of directors. I have helped David Gray, the 2009 event manager, get the event going and offered suggestions to again make it bigger and more awesome. Most all the 2008 team returned and Gameathon 2009 is set to launch this coming weekend! I am so excited.