Business major attends AMS national conference

As a standout volleyball player and youth sports camp instructor at Dominican, Samantha Rains knows the value of teamwork.

When the junior business administration major and honors student was accepted to present at the Academy of Marketing Science’s annual conference in Indianapolis May 21-23, Rains understood how to share and pass the credit.  She attributed her success to a team effort involving Anjali Bal, Christopher Leeds and Kelly Weidner, all professors in the Andrew P. Barowsky School of Business at Dominican.

They helped inspire her and guide her to a future in marketing.

“If Anjali hadn’t called me into her office and said you should do marketing as your concentration or if Dr. Leeds hadn’t talked to me so many times about improving my business communications or if Kelly hadn’t helped and explained the methodology that didn’t click in my head, I wouldn’t be in this position,” Rains says. “I am 100 percent dedicated to them. They have done so much to help me above and beyond.”

“Sam’s quest for knowledge and passion for life are uncoupled in any student I have taught,” says Bal, who welcomed Rains into her marketing principles class as a sophomore. “She has managed to thrive in challenging academic situations and has never faltered no matter how difficult a task I have presented her with.”

While her professors mentored her along the way, Rains is solely responsible with creativity coming up with the unique marketing idea she presented with Bal and Weidner in Indianapolis at the AMS event. The national conference featured refereed paper sessions, research-in-progress sessions, panels, workshops, and other special invited sessions and, to the best of Bal's knowledge, Rains was the only undergraduate to be lead author on a paper for the main conference.

“This paper was purely motivated by Samantha,” Bal says. “This is an amazing thing for anyone, let alone someone so young.”

Rains, a three-year starter on the Penguins’ volleyball team, focused her research on logo placement on the body in relation to brand recall and brand likeability. Her objective evolved and her paper grew into a larger and deeper presentation entitled “Going Under the Needle: The New Marketing Medium of Tattooing Professional Athletes.”

Rains was intrigued by the emergence of tattooing as a form of sponsorship and wondered why people would engage in such activity on numerous levels.  She took time to look at literature in sociology, psychology and sports marketing in order to guide her paper.

At one point, while meticulously researching the project at Dominican and at home in Placerville, Rains’ paper approached the 30-page mark.

“I got really into it,” she says, grinning. “I thought, `This is insane, but I really like all the research I’m discovering.’ I need more.”