University of South Carolina

CreateAthon comes to USC

By Megan Sexton,, 803-777-1421

The University of South Carolina is now an official partner of CreateAthon, an organization that champions effective nonprofit marketing through pro bono marathons.

Students within the School of Journalism and Mass Communications will hold the 24-hour pro bono marketing event Oct. 25–26. The event will be part of a Creative Leadership class taught this fall by USC associate professor Karen Mallia.

"CreateAthon is an amazing opportunity for students to gain real-world experience in developing marketing communication strategies and powerful creative work — and working under pressure,” she said. “They will share their growing professional talents doing much needed community service. At the same time, nonprofits experience the benefits of effective marketing as a tool to help support their missions and the work they do in our community.”

Riggs Partners, the founding organization of CreateAthon, will hold its 16th annual event the same week as USC.

“We’re so pleased to see the university integrate the CreateAthon model into its undergraduate curriculum for journalism students,” said Teresa Coles, co-founder of CreateAthon. “It’s a great opportunity to bring even more pro bono marketing services to nonprofits throughout the Midlands. The fact that we are both holding our respective events during National Pro Bono Week makes it even more meaningful.”

Riggs Partners began CreateAthon began in 1997 as a new way to provide pro bono services to nonprofits. The program has achieved significant impact since its national launch in 2002, attracting more than 80 agencies, universities, professional organizations and corporate marketing departments throughout North America as CreateAthon partners. In total, the program has served more than 1,275 nonprofit organizations with pro bono marketing projects valued at more than $15 million.

“We’re thrilled to involve our students in such an energizing and creative approach to community engagement,” Mallia said. “The 24-hour marathon model will be a tremendous collaborative experience for them, and we know that both they and the nonprofits served will benefit from such an inspiring pro bono experience.”

USC is the fourth university in the country to integrate the CreateAthon marathon model into undergraduate curriculum for students in marketing and the communicating arts. Developed at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008, the program has been adopted by University of Tennessee at Chattanooga as well as James Madison University.

Midlands-area nonprofits may submit applications to either the University of South Carolina by calling (803) 777-1154 or to Riggs Partners. Deadline for applications for either event is June 30.

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Posted: 05/22/13 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 05/22/13 @ 2:30 PM | Permalink