By Thomas Albano
There will be one especially happy senior following Commencement on May 13. He or she will be much like the others — cap and gown on, walking across the stage to shake President Dell’Omo’s hand and receive a diploma — but in the other hand, will be holding the keys to a new car.
The leasee of the car — a Toyota Scion iM, courtesy of Team Toyota of Princeton — will be determined by a new contest from 107.7 The Bronc.
“It’s going to be something that no other college radio station, or college or university that we know of, has done at Commencement,” General Manager John Mozes said.
The car giveaway is one of two things Mozes said he’s always wanted to do as general manager. The other was the egg hunt, which was held on March 23. Mozes hopes to continue the momentum of success with this contest.
“I had a meeting with Doug Scott, the marketing director of Team Toyota, and I said, ‘Hey, I got this crazy idea,’ and he’s like, ‘OK, let’s make it happen,’” he said. “It was just really trying to find something we could do differently that makes the radio station and the university stand out.”
Scott said when Mozes came to him with the idea, he had to figure out a way to balance the fun and legal aspects of the giveaway.
“John’s obviously a very motivated and energetic guy,” Scott said. “I know he’s trying to come up with a good idea to keep things lively over on campus. [The idea] kind of evolved as we moved along. We had to figure out how to keep it all on the level and legal, but still keep it fun for the students.
“At the dealership, you’re always approached by people. ‘Can’t you just give us a car?’ If it only were that easy, we’d do it more often. But by doing a two-year lease, they get a new set of wheels for the first two years out of school and branch off into the real world, and it’s just something fun for everybody to get excited about.”
To enter, students must record a two-minute video talking about their experience at Rider and upload it to 107.7 The Bronc’s website. Entries will be accepted beginning April 4 and closing after May 1. The videos will then be scored by a panel of judges, who will include people in the marketing and video fields, alumni and current members of the Rider community.
The students with the top 12 scoring videos will then be invited to a ceremony on the Lawrenceville campus, following Commencement. With the car present, each student will receive one of 12 keys, but only one student will be given the key that starts the car. The student with the highest-scoring video will have that key, and he or she will be given a two-year lease for the car.
“We are really looking for great content on what students think they received from the university, and even what they gave back to the university themselves,” Mozes said. “It could be somebody shooting a video against a wall or a tree, but they have just this great message about their experience at Rider; they could be a winner. Somebody could have a message and a slickly produced video and they could be a winner. But if you don’t have a strong message, you probably won’t win.”
Team Toyota of Princeton — which has been a sponsor for the radio station for about five years — is also no stranger to the university. Paul Muller, owner of Team Toyota, along with his wife and kids, are all Rider graduates. Specifically, it sponsors the show Sustainable You, which airs Saturdays at 11 a.m., and 107.7 The Bronc’s broadcasts of the Commencement ceremonies.
While the contest hasn’t started yet, both sides hope that this giveaway could become an annual thing.
“I look at it as a relationship with Rider University and The Bronc being a part of Rider,” Scott said. “Seeing what The Bronc does on campus, they are a top-notch radio station in the college world. Provided this goes well, it would be neat to try to make it some sort of tradition.”
According to Mozes, the car will make its debut to the Rider community on April 1 at Senior Ball. It will then make appearances at Relay for Life on April 2, on the Westminster campus April 3-8 and on the Lawrenceville campus for the remaining period while also sporadically being taken to other Rider events.
Published in the 3/30/16 edition.