ASI Affiliates with Babson College to Help Train Future Entrepreneurs

Business college initiative will benefit 500 students

TREVOSE, PA – October 16, 2012 – The Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI) today announced it is affiliating with Babson College in an inaugural education initiative to help budding business entrepreneurs learn how to run a successful promotional products distributorship.

ASI, the largest media, marketing and education organization in the $18.5 billion promotional products industry, will complement Babson’s top-flight business education coursework with hands-on training, online education and real-world applications.

The Babson philosophy blends innovative, integrated and applied business and liberal arts programs with curricular and co-curricular learning experiences. Each year, approximately 500 first-year undergraduates enroll in a year-long course to learn how to run a business. Instructor-led groups of about 20 students each receive approximately $3,000 in seed money, which some groups will use to buy, imprint and sell promotional products during the second of two semesters.

“Each year, believing that knowledge is equivalent to success, ASI invests $1.3 million into educating our members, so we are thrilled to work with Babson College to help guide the business leaders of tomorrow as they prepare to launch vibrant careers in American enterprise,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI

“We are delighted to be able to introduce our students to ASI’s resources and expertise,” said Babson College Interim Dean and Professor Robert F. Halsey. “Our year-long Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship (FME) course is a total immersion into the business experience and is one of the most innovative courses of its kind in the world. Partnering with ASI will provide our students with valuable real-world experience, and we greatly appreciate ASI’s support of our program.”

As a way to introduce the industry to new potential hires for distributor firms, under the agreement, Babson students will get Web and mobile access to ASI’s ESP®, an online shopping mall where they can source and order every promotional product in the industry from 3,200 suppliers, along with access to ESP Websites™, which will allow them to build a cutting-edge company website to showcase their products.

In addition, students will supplement their Babson curriculum through courses at ASI’s Online Learning Center. ASI, the industry’s largest educator, awards the equivalent of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees to industry professionals through its Education Certification Program.

And in May, Babson students will be able to further hone their business and networking skills by taking an onsite tour to learn more about the advertising specialty industry at an ASI trade show in New York City, featuring a keynote by Buddy Valastro, Jr., the “Cake Boss” on the hit TLC reality show.

Andrews added he’s been in recent roundtable discussions with distributors in Chicago and Los Angeles on the need for more outreach to colleges and universities to help educate marketing and other students about the industry. “ASI thinks it’s important to infuse our distributor and supplier organizations with younger people excited about our industry as a career,” said Andrews. “While colleges may not teach Distributor 101 today, we’d like to offer as many students as possible enough information about this industry to encourage them to think ‘Hey, this sounds pretty cool.’ ”

For more information or to create a similar education program, please contact Nicole Rollender,executive director of professional development for ASI, at [email protected] or (215) 953-3478.

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry, with a network of over 27,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America. ASI leads the industry in technology solutions, providing cloud-based e-commerce, enterprise resource planning software (ERP) and customer relationship management software (CRM). ESP Web™ is the industry’s leading tool for sourcing hundreds of thousands of products. A family-owned business since 1962, ASI also provides online research, marketing, advertising opportunities, trade shows, education, award-winning magazines, newsletters, custom websites and catalogs to help members sell, market and promote their brands. Visit ASI at and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the CEO’s blog.

About Babson
Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds™. The College is a dynamic living and learning laboratory, where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society – while at the same time evolving our methods and advancing our programs. We shape the leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to create economic and social value. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value. For information, visit

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