Tobin College of Business adds surprise to MetroCards

Amanda Umpierrez, News Editor

When Assistant Vice President of Governmental Relations and Professor Brian Browne bought a MetroCard some weeks ago, he was in for a little surprise.

“Nice surprise this AM when I got new @MetroCardCity & saw this on reverse!” he tweeted on Sept. 3. The other side would show an advertisement designed by the Tobin College of Business, with the words ‘Solid. Ethical. Global.’ printed in bold capitalized letters and a URL linking to TCB graduate programs.

TCB Communications Manager Asia Hauter ensued in the marketing and advertising of the college on NYC MetroCards, as it played a part in her media plan.

“The reason for placing the advertisements is to enhance awareness of the Tobin college and increase enrollment,” she said in an email interview.

Browne believes the idea is a great incentive to promote St. John’s in the NYC area.

“It gets the brand out there, it gets the message out there,” he said. “It screams NYC, it being on the back of a MetroCard.”

However, marketing major Melanie Butron would have rather seen a larger advertisement.

“I don’t usually notice the back of a MetroCard, so I don’t notice much of the marketing strategy,” she said. “My question is; why an actual MetroCard, and not an ad on the subway?”

She continued to speculate why only one particular college was advertised, rather than the university as a whole.

In her email interview, Hauter explained her role is only specific to TCB and not the university.

“I personally work in the dean’s office for the Tobin College of Business, so I do not manage media or advertising placement for the University as a whole,” she noted.

Director of Media Relations Elizabeth Reilly, who handles media and advertising for the University, clarified in an email interview the difference between directing undergraduate and graduate advertising.

“Advertising for graduate programs is managed by each individual college to meet their own needs, in consultation with the University’s marketing and communication department,” she said.

St. John’s students see the advertisement as an enforcement of the metropolitan and global mission.

“It’s done classically, advertising wise,” junior Chloe Gage said. “How much [more] metropolitan can you get with a MetroCard?”

Accounting major Jessica DiBugno appreciates the originality with the idea.

“It’s definitely different,” she said. “It will appeal to a wide variety of people.”