Retailers tap into college student market
At Fenway Park event, retailers attract students with freebies, try to sell them products, and aim for lasting connections with e-mail signups
By Gail Waterhouse | GLOBE CORRESPONDENT SEPTEMBER 10, 2013
College students waited in a line 10 deep for the chance to guess what would happen next in clips from "World's Dumbest" - a show featuring home videos of people making silly mistakes. The elaborate staging, game show-like environment, and prizes were all part of a marketing pitch to get students to sign up for Comcast Corp.'s cable service.
Comcast and other companies filled dozens of booths lining both sides of Fenway Park's concourse over the weekend as part of College Day, an event run by a Waltham marketing firm, The Campus Agency. More than 60 businesses - from AriZona Beverages to Vera Bradley - hosted games, ran contests, and did whatever it took to attract the attention of nearly 9,000 college students lured to the event with reliable bait: free stuff.
Beyond selling a product to students, many companies aimed to create a lasting connection by having students sign up for e-mails, or become aware of new products or services.