By: James Broaddus
Junior agricultural communication major with minors in agribusiness and agricultural education
“Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville, searching for my lost shaker of salt…”
Jimmy Buffett’s cult classic song “Margaritaville” is the highest grossing song of all time, more valuable than “Happy Birthday”. This value is not only due to the popularity of the song itself, but of Buffett’s company: Margaritaville.
The Margaritaville brand is viewed with awe by the other Buffett, Warren. He has spoken favorably about the pure genius of his non-related surname sharing genius. Margaritaville’s brand licensed name is seen in a wide range of vendors including restaurants, resorts, cruise lines, retirement facilities, clothing, and shoe lines. The brand provides a marketing strategy to strive for success.
Now, why would a blog for the Brock Center be about Margaritaville? I mean that truly seems like a stretch… Well, let me tell you!
For my entire life, I grew up a Parrothead, the self-proclaimed title by Buffett fans around the world. My youngest memories are wearing colorful handcuff bracelets with Buffett records playing in the truck as my dad drove all across California or in the house spending time with my mom and sister. Jimmy Buffett and the Margaritaville Radio station truly became the soundtrack for the entire Broaddus family (and most of our extended family). From concerts to meals, from vinyl to iTunes, it played everywhere.
That brings me to late October 2016, a few days before attending my fifth Buffett concert in Sacramento, California, (and even dragging a few Poly friends who were unenlightened about the man, myth, and legend). Reading through the Margaritaville blog, I saw an article about something called Margaritaville University, a college student outreach program through the company’s marketing team. As a member of the Cal Poly 2017 National Champion NAMA Team, a little more exposure to marketing AND my favorite singer seemed like an ideal opportunity!
One application and an hour plus interview later, I was invited to join a group of about 150 college students spanning over 130 campuses as a Fall 2017 Margaritaville College Ambassador. While connecting with my fellow ambassadors and marketing team overseers alike, I quickly learned I was not alone in my rabid fandom of the brand!
After a few months of completing challenges (ranging from photography with brand items to promoting coupon codes for the online store) I received an email that I had been selected for a trip to the Margaritaville Resort in Hollywood, Florida, to join in on the Margaritaville College Ambassador Roundtable. Myself, along with my fellow six ambassadors, were the top seven students in the program representing the varying regions of the country (though I was the only one west of the Rockies).
The trip to Florida proved to be one of the most exciting adventures I have encountered. My flights took me from Sacramento to Dallas to Fort Lauderdale and I arrived in the wee hours of the morning. From the first moments on Florida ground, the trip proved eventful, with Miami being the biggest recommendation for dinner from my Uber driver (I’ve seen Burn Notice and CSI: Miami a few too many times for that to even be a consideration…..)
From meetings in the boardroom to tropical Cabanas on the sandy beaches of the Atlantic, the entire trip proved to be not only fun but a strong educational experience. Discussions of future marketing strategies and long-term company plans occurred in all parts of the trip, even final thoughts emailed from the plane ride home.
What can I say, a professional trip to paradise isn’t half-bad.
Fins Up and Go Mustangs!
Check out a great recap video and pictures from my trip.