Mohawk beats out Laurentian; wins a free concert

By Matthew Le Blanc

Students of Mohawk voted their way to the top, making Mohawk the first ever college to win the TD Pump It Up Contest. The prize is a concert estimated to be worth $300,000, with musical acts Mother Mother, B.O.B and Team Canada DJ’s headlining the event.

Steve Kosh, Marketing and Communication Manager for the MSA, says he’s proud of the students for making Mohawk this year’s Pump It Up champion.

“I’m happy we finally won something,” he says. “A little college from good old Hamilton, Ontario actually took down [five universities]…I think the thing is when you say ‘school spirit’, everyone thinks university…I think finally for us to say, ‘Hey, we’re not Slowhawk Cottage; we’re actually doing something’ says a lot.”

Despite winning, Kyle Rawn, Vice President of Marketing for the MSA, says he learned a valuable lesson for next year’s contest.

“Definitely plan ahead. We found that we were flying by the seat of our pants this year. We weren’t sure if we were going to really push it and then, as a last minute decision, we finally did. So maybe next year we will start planning what we’re going to do in the summer.”

Kosh credits the “stunts” and hallway exposure for what made this year’s voting campaign a success.

“The voting booths were huge,” says Kosh. “We did the planking thing one day just to draw attention to it. We gave away some gift cards to entice students to vote. I think the biggest thing was getting students to understand that, yeah, it’s just a contest, but in the overall grand scheme of things, we’re trying to put Mohawk on the map.”

During the competition, victory wasn’t always within Mohawk’s grasp. During the fifth and final round, Laurentian found a loophole in the contest rules. They discovered they could get twice as many votes if they logged students in through their Facebook and again through their school e-mail account, doubling the votes.

Once Kosh verified that signing students up twice was legal, he was determined to beat Laurentian at their own game.

“It was kind of nice, because that actually got us more votes now that we knew that rule was legal,” says Kosh. “After that happened, we started promoting it…Game on.”

Rawn says he realized the tactic was fair game, and despite being down in votes, didn’t lose hope.

“Things like that pop up,” he says. “We were able to fight against it and come back to beat Laurentian after being down [in votes] by so much. Even seeing that they were doing that, and making a comeback, makes me feel that much better about our win.”

Because of the win, Kosh says the MSA can keep their concert budget for February intact, which translates into the booking of another musical act for early 2012.

Currently, Nov. 3 is the proposed date for the concert, with a location to be announced at a later date.

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