Seniors Chase Mason and Chris Lewis are working to re-brand the St. Louis U. High spirit store, including an updated website, and an expansion of the SLUH brand.
Mason and Lewis have taken on apprenticeships in the spirit shop as its new digital marketing team. The team works with former Vice President of Nike and GAP Kevin Komos, ’81 and former CEO of FootLocker North America Jake Jacobs, ’81 with the main goal of expanding the store’s online and social media presence to current students, families of students, and alumni families. In addition to this, the alumni email list is also being utilized to connect past SLUH families to the store.
Another of many changes made to the SLUH spirit store by the senior duo is a notable improvement to the Jr. Bills Store section of the SLUH website. In addition to a more user-friendly interface, the website includes a spotlight of seasonal or new items. The new interface includes the newest updates to the store’s merchandise, and allows users to choose specifically from brands such as Nike, Champion, and Under Armour.
“The major things that me and Chris (do) is work on site navigation and on tags to products,” said Mason. “Then we briefly helped with connecting vendors to products like Mr. Jake Jacobs briefly showed us how to but that was mainly him we have done the product description, and just overall layout of the website.”
As is the case for many colleges and universities around the county, a school’s name can sometimes appeal to people who otherwise have no association to the institution itself. SLUH has very deep roots within the city of St. Louis, so the spirit store team aims to expand the school’s brand to people who may not be directly associated with the school itself.
“Like a Mizzou or Notre Dame,” said Mason. “They put their name and brand on everything. And even people who aren’t associated with the school will have something like a Notre Dame sticker, or something like that.”
Mason’s passion was sparked last year after a frightening encounter.
“Last year during my junior year, I had this horrible experience where a guy held me at gunpoint,” said Mason. “But I wouldn't try to be doing the whole entrepreneur thing if he didn't.’
After this incident, Mason started thinking of ways to pursue his passions and give back to the community. After a long process of deciding, he decided on digital marketing and entrepreneurship.
“What's something that I can do now,” Mason said. “It has to be relatively cheap for me to start, and there has to be some type of payout that I could get immediately. And how can I reach a new large pool of people? And that's how I got into digital entrepreneurship, whether it's been digital marketing, website creation, arbitrage on Facebook ads, Instagram ads, etc.”
After this, they began exploring ways to start, including a period where the team helped several brick and mortar companies increase their online presence, but these projects are currently being put on hold so Mason and Lewis can focus on the Jr. Bills Store.
“We (would) tell them, hey, you guys don't have a website. You don't have any form of social media. You're leaving X amount of money on the table. Now by allowing us to go create your webpage and social media pages we believe that we can make a brand new stream of revenue for your business by reaching out,” Mason said.
In the future, the spirit store hopes to reach out to more alumni and make SLUH merchandise more accessible to people who don’t live in the city, as well as increase the store’s online presence even further.
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