The Hub for Brand Innovation and Advertising Technology is at the Center of Advertising Innovation

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Part of the Brand Hub’s mission is to promote experiential learning, professional development, entrepreneurship and research & consulting, which we have done and will continue to do, through our support of curricular and cocurricular programs, workshops, courses, and events. Here are some highlights of our recent successes:




Brand Hub Students

   Student and Campus Engagement


92 students campuswide have taken part in the Amazon Ads Experience, since Fall 2021 

147 University of Illinois student participants in Brand Hub signature programs 

35 participating students on project-based learning teams from across campus

10 COM faculty and U of I staff led or participated in Brand Hub presentations

12 trained, sponsored and supervised student employees, fellows, and research assistants

827 students, staff, faculty, community members and organizations have participated in our academic programs and/activities - to date!

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   Experiential Learning Events 


12 advertising workshops for 120 participants (includes on-campus communicators, students, industry, faculty, local non-profits, small businesses and tech start-ups)

7 Building Your Brand in-person consultation sessions in partnership with the Champaign Public Library that reached 20 local businesses and engaged 10 advertising students

11 virtual or in-person industry job talks or industry networking events with 344 attendees


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   Diverse and Inclusive Structure


37 online learners from around the globe participated in the Sandage Summer Academy 2021

$8,000 in paid internships for students campuswide

$8,000 raised by student developed fundraising campaigns for black or brown-led non-profits in Chicago-land area 

The Hub for Brand Innovation and Advertising Technology, or the “Brand Hub”, is a leader in advertising and media technology education and sits at the center of experiential learning, innovation, and interdisciplinary collaboration in the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising.  The Brand Hub is a touchpoint for excellence in data-driven strategic brand communication and digital promotion. 

The Brand Hub has primarily functioned as an outpost for corporate engagement, campus and community outreach, event organization, and education innovation. It facilitates and serves as a liaison for sponsored curricular programs such as the Amazon Ads Experience, co-curricular programs such as the Brand Ambassador Program, sponsored internship and scholarship programs such as the Global Overview Leading with Integrity Micro-Internship, and workshops and events such as the Emerging Leaders Program

The eight programs supported by the Brand Hub have provided valuable experiential learning and professional opportunities to hundreds of students across campus, strengthened partnerships throughout the University system, and connected current students and faculty to respected alumni and colleagues in the industry. In short, the Brand Hub facilitates corporate investment in one of the top advertising programs in the U.S., creating engaging experiences that leave a lasting impact on students.  

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One of the most successful outcomes of the Brand Hub is a series of undergraduate and graduate courses called the Amazon Ads Experience. This series of three courses in the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising is providing students with valuable, real-world experience through its collaboration with Amazon Ads Education Alliance.  

  • Amazon Advertising Certification and Global Overview Campaign, ADV 392/490, gives students the opportunity to work on hands-on projects with professionals from the industry, including account managers, creative managers, and strategists. This course is especially rewarding because Global Overview is also a collaborator, giving students more industry insight and Global Overview an upper hand in working with the next generation of advertising talent. 

  • Amazon Advertising Experience, ADV 400/590, provides important hands-on experience to students looking to learn how to grow an ecommerce brand through a multi touchpoint omnichannel (e.g., search, website, social media, and ecommerce platform) strategy. Students gain experience working with real clients and collaborating within a team to implement learned concepts in an applied strategy. 

  • Advertising Strategies for Online Businesses, ADV 490, is an advanced course that gives students an in-depth look into the world of ecommerce. The learning potential of this course is threefold: students learn ecommerce logistics including SEO, Paid Ads, Email Marketing, and UX/UI. Then students learn how these concepts are applied in practice. Industry experts at Walmart, Unilever, Amazon Ads, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Walgreens, and Reckitt talk to the students about how the learned concepts are used in specific industries and leading companies. 

These courses have had an impact on over 100 UIUC students so far, and this impact is growing in numbers as the Amazon Ads Experience expands – classes have been scaled 3x this past year.  

The Brand Hub is always looking to introduce new ways for corporate partners to collaborate on these courses, giving students the most comprehensive learning experience possible.  Reach out to learn more about getting involved in UIUC courses! 

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The Brand Hub also facilitates impactful co-curricular programs, including sponsored internships/scholarships and experiential learning programs. These involvement opportunities leave a larger, lasting impact on a smaller group of students.  

  • Sponsored internships and scholarships allow contributors to directly sponsor students, allowing them to participate in engaging and impactful learning opportunities. Global Overview’s Leading with Integrity micro-internship program does just that. This program sponsors a mix of 20 advertising and business undergraduate and graduate students, allowing them to attend a 4-week long online training program. Upon completion of the program, students will leave with a stipend, certificate and badge, a guaranteed interview with Global Overview, and the lasting impact that Global Overview made on their education and professional development.  

  • Experiential Learning Programs work closely with groups of students to provide unique and applicable learning experiences. The Brand Ambassador Program is an excellent example of this. This program facilitates a mutually beneficial relationship between 20 advertising students looking to gain experience in social media and brand management, and 10 Illini athletes looking to expand their personal brand. New and existing brands will also gain direct knowledge and experience in working with influencers and brand promoters in this safe, organic, and student-supported setting. Several local sponsors make this program possible, including DIA, Visit Champaign County, City of Urbana, CCEDC, and Southernmost Tourism Bureau/Create Bridges. 

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The Brand Hub also facilitates co-curricular workshops and events. These events are shorter than some of the opportunities listed above, but still allow students to connect with sponsors at an impactful level. Many upcoming events can be found here, with the exception of ongoing programs such as the Emerging Leaders Program. 

The Emerging Leaders Program is an amazing opportunity facilitated by the Brand Hub. Through this program, advertising students are brought to Chicago’s Illini Center to engage with the industry in a skills-based learning workshop. Afterwards, a follow up networking event allows students to connect with alums and industry guests. Events last one day, and the 2022-2023 program includes events hosted by The Trade Desk, Leo Burnett, and TikTok. There are plenty of involvement opportunities for Chicago industry leaders as this program continues to grow and expand moving forward. 

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The Brand Hub actively encourages and facilitates partnerships with a variety of organizations on varying levels. Long-term partnerships, like the Amazon Ads Experience, create a strong brand presence and diverse talent pipeline on campus, allowing Amazon to directly benefit from long-term involvement and sponsorship. The Brand Hub also serves as a liaison between advertising courses and industry partners – With opportunities to invest in the next generation of advertisers ranging from direct collaboration on a class project, career guidance, information sessions, networking events, experiential learning projects, all the way to co-curricular programming.  


There are a great number of new and growing opportunities at every level, and the Brand Hub is actively looking for corporate partners. The Brand Hub has benefited from the support of the following corporate and community partners.  


Amazon Advertising Education Alliance
City of Urbana
CuteStreet LLC
Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA)
Global Overview
The Trade Desk
Visit Champaign County


Supporting Partners

Accenture Song
Center for Nonprofit Excellence
Champaign Center Partnership/Community Foundation of East Central Illinois
Champaign County Economic Development Center
Champaign Public Library
Clanin Marketing
Discovery Partners Institute
Growth Marketing LLC
Heritage Academy Kolkata
Illinois Business Consulting
Illinois Small Business Development Center

Leo Burnett 
Lodgic Everyday Community 
Magelli Office of Experiential Learning 
Origin Ventures Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership 
Office of Procurement Diversity 
Office of Strategic Brand Management 
Research Park at the University of Illinois 
Siebel Center for Design 
Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau 
Technology Entrepreneurship Center 
Technology Services at Illinois 
University of Illinois Corporate Relations Council 
University of Illinois Extension 
University of Illinois Foundation 
Discovery Partners Institute 
Growth Marketing LLC 
Heritage Academy Kolkata 
Leo Burnett 
Lodgic Everyday Community 
Surface 51 
The Urbana Free Library 
University of Illinois Extension 
US Economic Development Administration 

Are you interested in being a part of a leading advertising ecosystem? Reach out to us here, and the Brand Hub will lead you to an opportunity that meets your needs.