For the third year, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Bookstore urged students to show their “HI Pride” with a student-designed T-shirt contest. Emily Benton, marketing specialist for University of Hawai‘i Bookstores, said that this year’s submissions trumped previous numbers with 34 separate entries. This was also the first year the contest was opened to the entire University of Hawai‘i System, which includes 10 campuses serviced by nine bookstores.
The contest ran from March 20 to April 21, and voting was held in early May. “We timed it to begin before spring break, so that the students would have a little more time to enter,” Benton said. After semi-finalist designs were selected and approved by licensing, final public voting was hosted online using the website www.polldaddy.com.
To promote the event, Benton posted the contest flyer and voting link on all nine bookstores’ Facebook pages. “Our Facebook posts got a lot of views,” she said. The staff also sent out an email through the University’s communication system at Mānoa to reach the whole student population. In addition, Mānoa Bookstore notified its own subscribers about the contest via an e-newsletter, which garnered 1500 opens and more than 400 clicks. Bookstore employees also posted eye-catching flyers, which included tear-away tabs with the bookstore’s website so that students could find out the contest guidelines at their own convenience.
Contest winner Rissa Fedora, a student at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, said that her design was inspired by her experiences at the school, and that to her, “HI Pride means sharing aloha and memories with my ‘ohana and friends.” Her design received 523 votes.
As the winner, Fedora will receive a $200 UH Bookstores gift card and a $100 prize pack, in addition to a T-shirt with her design.
For the first time, the winning HI Pride T-shirts will be available in the colors of each of the nine campuses in Fall 2014. UH Bookstores managers hope that this will enable each campus to highlight their own individuality, but also unite their separate campuses as members of the entire University of Hawai’i community.