EVENTS & PROMOTIONS: ON A ROLL: STEVE MURPHY

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Sports marketing expert Steve Murphy joined Collegiate Advantage, Boston, in 1992 and has helped the company grow to 35 staffers delivering national promotions to college campuses. Clients include Coca-Cola Co., Sprint Corp., Rolling Stone and Kellogg Co.

Age: 31.

Title: exec VP.

Insight: The college market is incredibly diverse. Programs must be customized for diverse tastes and regional interests.

Tip: Never assume students know your brand. Campuses are breeding grounds for new influences.

Growing: The power of junior colleges and smaller schools. Great sponsor opportunities also lurk outside conventional venues on major campuses.

New sponsor areas: Women's sports, volleyball, track and field. Also: Olympic sports.

Beware of: Forcing concepts on students. Develop promotions around existing campus promotions to weave your brand into a school's fabric.

Opinion: Very few companies have mastered true integrated marketing. Quality programs demand quality execution at the local level with national support.

Secret: Avoid telling kids you're cool. Be cool by making that attitude intrinsic to the experience.

Avoid: Extreme sports that are visually exciting but inaccessible to the average person.

Trend: European influences in college music and fashion. The big coastal cities drive fads.

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