Why INTI believes its BLACKPINK sponsorship will drive word of mouth branding

INTI International University & Colleges believes that fun and lifestyle are as much a part of a student's journey as academic excellence and career development. This is why, said Timothy Johnson, senior VP for marketing, products and partnerships the brand decided to co-sponsor the upcoming BLACKPINK concert. The South Korean girl group debuted in 2016 and is popular among Gen Zs.

Johnson told A+M that besides garnering awareness for INTI, the institution recognised the role of experiences in its students' lives. Johnson, however, did not share the cost of the sponsorship. He added that INTI was the only education-based partner for the event. Currently, KIA is the title sponsor for the concert and other sponsors include Mcalls, Acer, KyoChon 1991, Atria and Shopee.

In a bid to set itself apart from other institutions, INTI focuses on holistic student experiences that balance between competency development leading to outstanding employability outcomes, as well as infuses the learning journey with fun. "By demonstrating that we are an institution with a complete view of a student’s time with us, this leads to a longer term ROI through brand awareness and word of mouth marketing," Johnson told A+M. He added:

This improves our word of mouth branding which remains a significantly more effective means of brand building compared to anything we do as a one-off investment.

As part of the collaboration, INTI students will have access to promotions for exclusive BLACKPINK giveaways, including send-off passes, sound-check passes, autographed posters and tickets to the concert. Its main marketing strategy would be to engage both its students and the wider community.

This is done through campaigns such as its "Dance & Win" competition which leverages Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook and Twitter for participants to show off their talents as true BLACKPINK fans. Besides social media, INTI is also collaborating with Astro radio for ticket giveaways.

According to Johnson, this is the second international band INTI has sponsored, with the first being 5 Seconds of Summer in 2017. While INTI believes that sponsoring international acts is a "great means" of engaging students and the wider community, Johnson said it also works with various local influencers including Ling Big Yong, Vikarworld, JinnyBoy and its INTI talents.

"Working across homegrown, local and international collaborations helps us create rich and diversified content which spurs conversations among our students and supporters about our brand and what we stand for," he said.