One of the things I love most about the fall season is NCAA football. I recall as if it was only yesterday waking up to the sounds of the Marching Illini practicing out our dorm window. This time of year, Saturdays at our house start with my Zune letting the fight songs roar from a wireless speaker.
It was this loyalty to my alma mater that peaked my interest when I learned that the Zune team is now offering branding. "Branding" is the ability to have a design printed right on the device. Up until now if you wanted devices with your own design you had to purchase "skins" which were basically something you stuck to the outside of a device in order to give it more aesthetic appeal. The Zune branding is printed on the device by the manufacturer. Think about a fine paint job on a tricked out sports car as opposed to decals someone tried to apply themselves.
This opens a lot of interesting marketing opportunities for both schools and universities to create imaginative devices. Imagine if you rewarded season ticket holders with a custom Zune filled with video clips from last season and a courteous thank you from the head coach! What if you welcomed all incoming freshman with a branded Zune preloaded with orientation video! How about high school students with their mascot blazing the back of an mp3 player as they listen to podcasts recorded by their teachers and wireless trade flashcards.
Yes, I said preloaded. The Zune team is also able to work with customers to pre-load content. This takes your branding from just being proud of a device to a full audio/photo/video experience!
I bring this up in the context of Education because that is my area. The Zune team is willing to work with any customer on this and the size of the order is "negotiable". Below I have posted 6 different images direct from the Zune team with examples of how these devices would look. I can honestly say if I could get one of these from my old stomping ground, I would order one as an alumni immediately.
If this would be of interest to your school, I would be happy to help.