Breaking down the cost of Belmont’s 125th anniversary celebration

Through shirts, mugs, events and a banner, Belmont University has committed approximately $105,000 to promote its 125th anniversary.

However, the university’s investment is aiming for more of an impact than just a birthday celebration.

“The 125th Anniversary has been the primary focus of this year’s marketing strategy because it provides a rare opportunity to celebrate both the rich history and promising future of Belmont University,” said marketing and public relations director John Carney.

Each year the marketing and public relations department operates on an annual budget of approximately $105,000 for celebration initiatives. Carney said that number is then broken down into three categories, with $79,000 in promotional materials such as banners and ads, $22,000 toward events and $4,000 in promotional items.

Almost 85 percent of this money has already been used towards the kickoff stages of the 125 year-long celebration.

Belmont views this initiative as an investment to the future of the university by reaching its primary marketing goals: increasing awareness of Belmont’s story, building a strong sense of pride among students, faculty, staff and others in the Belmont family and cementing its status as Nashville’s university, said Carney.

“This activity will generate tens of millions of positive brand impressions for Belmont,” he said.

The university feels confident in the results of the 125 celebration, but students have mixed reviews.

“It’s cool and I like the idea, but I feel like they didn’t really do anything for the students. It was hyped up to us. So, I expected a lot more,” said freshman Clayton Walker. Other students like freshman Allie Chambers seem pleased with the efforts.

“It’s a lot of effort and money, but I appreciate it. It’s 125 years, and that’s a long time. It’s a statement. I also think the new ID cards and banners add something to the campus,” she said.

Belmont has focused on being resourceful throughout the 125th celebration. When planning the 125th Anniversary concert, the university chose not to produce an independent event and instead partnered with the Curb College to infuse the theme into Belmont’s annual Battle of the Bands. This allowed both parties to combine efforts and save money and manpower.

The university also partnered with departments that annually produce their own marketing materials and simply inserted the 125th logo into their designs. Other special items like the production of the Belmont history book were generously produced by Belmont trustee Helen Kennedy.

“The end result was a bigger, yet very cost effective event for the entire campus community to enjoy,” said Carney. “This fits right in line with one of the university’s Vision 2020 strategic priorities. We will ensure long-term organizational strength by the efficient and responsible use of our resources.”

The theme of the 125th year celebration is “Belief in Something Greater,” and this was intentional to “not only reflect something that has been evident throughout Belmont’s 125 year history, but to also to exemplify our Christian faith, another of our strategic priorities,” said Carney.

Belmont professor Amy Crook said the 125th celebration is having a positive impact on the university.

“Belmont has a clearly established identity rooted in Christian character and student-centered learning, along with the sense that anyone can play an active part in shaping Belmont’s culture for the future. This innovative spirit in the community makes it an exciting place to be,” said Crook.

For more information on the 125th year celebration, the history of Belmont and a list of sponsored events, go to http://belmont125.com/.

This article was written by Tatum Tummins.

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