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Lander Digital Marketing Students Gain Real-World Experience Working with Smoothie King and Hydro One

Seniors Orlandria Simpson (left), of Gray Court; Michael Dieterly (center), of Greenwood; and Cole Wise (right), of Easley, present about "Platform Section and Consistency of Message" during the course of the project to guests from Smoothie King, Hydro One, the Upper Savannah Council of Governments, VisionGreenwood and the South Carolina Small Business Development Center. Photo courtesy of Dr. Cherie Rains.

Digital marketing students at Lander University gained real-world experience working with clients through the Business-College Connection Program and the South Carolina Small Business Development Center. The class took part in the Content Creation Contest, where students' teams formed different "agencies" and worked with local small businesses to improve their digital marketing strategies and results.

In total, there were nine teams with nearly 40 students participating in the contest. Over the course of the class, two final agencies were chosen for the Content Creation Contest. Public polls were posted on both the Smoothie King and Hydro One Facebook pages to determine the winners, with results to be revealed after their final presentations.

Dr. Cherie Rains, assistant professor of marketing, guided students throughout their projects. "They work all semester long on a digital marketing plan and implementation of content for the clients," said Rains. Although she has led previous versions of this project with students, this year's was "more advanced in deliverables."

This year's partners and the students' clients were Greenwood's Smoothie King and Hydro One, a producer of various health-focused drinks. Smoothie King's franchise owner, Andre Gregory, and Hydro One's co-founder and CEO, Sammy Nasrollahi, worked with the teams throughout the semester and both agreed that they saw improvements in their marketing.

Teams presented their work and results to guests from the participating companies, the Upper Savannah Council of Government, Vision Greenwood and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Advisory Board who were in attendance.


Content Creation Contest award winners:

  • Smoothie King Content Creation Champions, sponsored by VisionGreenwood: Business Buzz, consisting of Jordan Broome, of Abbeville; Erica Campbell, of Greenwood; Sadie Davis, of Fort Myers, Florida; and Cameron Stutts, of Prosperity.
  • Hydro One Content Creation Champions, sponsored by Upper Savannah Council of Governments: DigiLife Agency, consisting of Tom Marriott, of Mansfield, England; Ian Kerhoulas, of Greenwood; Timia Cunningham, of Anderson; and Thomas De Negri, of Antibes, France.
  • Spring 2021 Business College Connection Program Presentation Champions, sponsored by The Greenwood Area SBDC: LanDigital, consisting of Taylor Haigler, of Greenwood; Joseph Harte, of Lexington; Marty Icke, of Pikeville, Kentucky; Lexi Sterling, of Batesburg.
  • SBDC Leadership Innovation Award, sponsored by The Greenwood Area SBDC: Dr. Cherie Rains