Kaplan in Talks With ASUC Over Brand Deal

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Correction Appended

The ASUC Auxiliary and Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions are in negotiations for a commercial sponsorship of the ASUC Lecture Notes Online according to a document given to The Daily Californian Sunday, pending an approval of the sponsorship by the ASUC Auxiliary Store Operations Board.

According to the document, Kaplan would spend a total of $8,000 on sponsorship items, including 10,000 "green" blue books branded with Kaplan identity and sponsorship information, flyers and tabling events at the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union. The document also states, "UC Berkeley will work with Kaplan to strategically advance their brand and products to the customers of ASUC Lecture Notes Online."

In addition, Kaplan would rent a room in the union to hold classes for two years at $3,500 per month, totaling $42,000.

An additional option in the proposal states that the ASUC "will be installing a large video sign on the East Face of Eshleman Hall, and installing a system of LED screens throughout (the) facilities and some on campus." Kaplan would have the option to buy into the advertising on these displays.

Representatives from Kaplan could not be reached as of press time.

Nadesan Permaul, director of the ASUC Auxiliary, said he could not comment on the specifics of the possible sponsorship outlined in the document due to ongoing negotiations regarding the sponsorship of the Lecture Notes Online program.

According to the minutes from a June 15 meeting of the board, Permaul said he and Karyn Houston - former manager of communications and marketing for the Auxiliary - had been in negotiations with representatives from UCLA to discuss possibly expanding the campus's online notes to UCLA.

"We are not in a position to say anything because we are still in negotiations with UCLA," Permaul said in an interview Monday.

The minutes stated that Permaul believed Lecture Notes Online was losing approximately $31,000 at the time.

Permaul said Monday that the sponsorship would be similar to other commercial sponsorships already in place.

Several off-campus organizations sponsor the ASUC and the Auxiliary, including AAA, Ashby Flowers and the moving and storage company Pack My Dorm.

According to Permaul, in these commercial agreements the Auxiliary sets up terms for vendors to table around the union, puts their names on the Auxiliary website as official sponsors of the ASUC and puts their advertisements in the Auxiliary magazine, Student Center[ed].

"We also provide them with counseling and guidance on how to market to students so they can make sure their message is getting out," he said.

Permaul said he hopes the board will be looking at the lease agreement at its next meeting on Sept. 14.

"As soon as the agreement is completed, we can release more information," he said.

In May 2009, the operations board forgave The Daily Californian a portion of its rent for the office it leases. As part of the agreement, a non-political student member of the board sits on The Daily Californian's Board of Operations, which has no control over the paper's editorial content.


Correction: Tuesday, August 31, 2010
A previous version of this article mis-labeled the ASUC Store Operations Board.

The Daily Californian regrets the error.

Allie Bidwell is the lead ASUC reporter. Contact her at [email protected]

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