Business partnerships are a hallmark of the Erwin Center for Brand Communications, and a recent gift from a brand supporter has added to the faculty’s arsenal in their development of tomorrow’s brand ambassadors.
The Consumer Health Care Division of Sanofi has gifted the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, through the Erwin Center, a full membership in the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). The subsequent resources from that membership will produce a plethora of educational opportunities for faculty and students alike, according to Katie Hildebrand, executive director of the Erwin Center.
“This generous gift from Sanofi Consumer Healthcare will benefit faculty and students with all the resources that will be available to us through the ANA membership,” Hildebrand said. “Great brand partners like Sanofi, set us apart in the way we can bring these industry resources into the classroom and lead to potential career opportunities for our students.”
The ANA membership came to Clemson by way of a team of Sanofi Consumer Healthcare executives. They include Noel Geoffroy, a Clemson University alumna and Head of North America; Chris Osner-Hackett, Head of Integrated Marketing; and Gerard Babitts, Head of Digital & Data.
“The full membership gives us access to conferences, webinars and trainings, student certifications and research as well as many other valuable tools that are differentiators in the way Clemson prepares students for careers as brand builders,” Hildebrand added. “We are fortunate to have Sanofi Consumer Healthcare and partners like Noel, Gerard and Chris who give of their time and resources, which is a real investment in the future of our faculty and students.”
As an Erwin Center for Brand Communications board member, Geoffroy said the investment in students’ brand education has also benefited Sanofi, a global biopharmaceutical company.
“As a proud Clemson University alumna and Clemson mom, I really enjoy being able to give back to the university and students through my work with the Erwin Center,” she said. “The students have great energy and ideas and have made contributions to our business. We hope the ANA membership will further enrich their marketing and business education.”
The Department of Marketing’s Michele Cauley is one educator who sees the value of having access to “the wealth of proprietary marketing expertise” that the ANA membership will provide.
“The ANA has long been recognized as a leading force in driving growth and change for the industry and there’s no doubt our students’ learning experience will be enhanced by these real-world tools and applications,” the professor of practice said. “We are so thrilled about the potential this membership affords and so grateful to Sanofi for their continued support of Clemson students. From the ‘ask the expert’ research service, to guest speakers, to industry workshops and conferences, this membership provides access to information and resources that would not otherwise be available to our faculty and students.”
Sanofi’s support of the Erwin Center isn’t limited to its most recent contribution of the ANA resources. The Paris-based company has worked closely with Cadency, an interdisciplinary student-led agency that collaborates with units on and off campus in experiential learning exercises that hone students’ branding skills in a business-like environment.
Babitts and Osner-Hackett are impressed with the enthusiastic approach Cadency’s interdisciplinary group of students contribute to brand projects.
“We’ve been impressed with the quality, depth and value of the research and insights Cadency students have generated,” Babitts said. “Their refreshing contributions have helped us refine our go-to-market strategies and activations. We believe giving students access to the ANA’s modern marketing practices from top advertisers across the globe is a worthwhile investment in the faculty and students at Clemson.”
About the Erwin Center for Brand Communications
The Erwin Center was founded in 2012 through the generosity and commitment of Clemson University graduate Joe Erwin (‘79) and his wife Gretchen. The Center’s mission is to provide students studying brand communications with hands-on experience through real brand projects. It offers classes in content and brand strategy, hosts the Clemson CMO Summit alongside Forbes and industry professionals and houses the Brand Communications minor.
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