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DormDuels: Bringing Prizes To A Campus Near You

Until, many prom pics were happily buried at the bottom of a cardboard box. No more, thanks to the latest contest sponsored by the competitive social media site for college students. Titled “Past Prom Pics,” the current contest encourages Facebook fans and active users of the year-old site to dig out the shots that defined that high school night and then proudly post for all to see. The photo with the most votes wins a $100 Visa gift card, with one lucky submission randomly selected to receive an edible arrangement, a.k.a. free fruit.

So begins one’s entry into the DormDuels’ experience, where everything seems to be on the table, and may even include the table, when it comes to offering insight on college life using a game-changing twist. The brainchild of management/marketing double major Michael Neel, founder and CEO, at Florida Atlantic University,, founded in August 2011, is reshaping the way brands can effectively interact with college students by creating an experience that connects fun rewards with photo/video sharing and contest campaigns.

Neel’s business partner and co-founder of this marketing platform is fellow FAU student Mohammed Ibrahim, who serves as chief technology officer.  Together the duo has infused a humor-filled combination of creativity, demographic research and technical know-how to design a site entirely around what college students experience during their college years.

The result is an innovative interactive adventure with Featured Contests ranging from the Sickest Tatoo” and “Ragin’ Pic of the Month” to “Greatest Game Day Photos” and “Sexiest Costume Contest.” Prizes include everything from a Victoria’s Secret gift card to the ultimate party packs complete with a $50 gift card, mini koozies and….wait for it…an ice luge.

In September 2012, went a step further and offered a $500 scholarship for the best video explaining how DormDuels actually works. The site also regularly sponsors User Contests to identify such things as the “Best Pumpkin Pic,” “Best Obama vs. Romney Cartoon,” “Best Duck Face” and “happy meals,” which calls upon participants “to take a picture of food with a smiley face on it.”

More recently, the company extended the entrepreneurial spirit of its founders by setting up an easy way for users to create their own contests.  Interested parties can click on a preview video that details the three simple steps in a unique way for taking an idea and turning it into gold, or at least something the color of gold, maybe. (There is also a shortcut directly from the site, but the preview video was just more fun.)

Another fun feature for the company’s college-age audience is that allows users to follow each other similar to Twitter’s setup. In so doing, more votes can be gained, more prizes won and more fans of discovered. Add to that the company’s campus rep program, aptly named “CampusCrazzies,” and connects even more with students in that the reps can earn school credit and win exclusive prizes just for signing on with the team.

Since its founding in a Florida Atlantic dorm room and in addition to tons of gift cards, tens of thousands of votes and hundreds of entries, has given away 42-inch HDTV’s and full weekend getaways among its thousands of dollars in prizes to date. And just as entering any of the site-sponsored contests is easy, so is joining the experience via Facebook from the company’s website. Clearly, fun plus the chance to win free stuff makes worth a daily visit.

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