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In Alex and Anis mission statement, the company claims to create eco-conscious jewelry Deleted: y

that positively empowers and connects humanity (ALEX AND ANI). The companys jewelry

represents its passion for conservation of the planet, as well as the wellbeing of individuals. The

University of Rhode Islands mission is to enrich their students lives through land, sea, and

urban grant traditions (About URI). Since 2012, Alex and Ani has partnered with the University

of Rhode Island. The company has not only sponsored the schools athletics, but has also

donated a large sum of money to the university. As of 2016, Carolyn Rafaelian, the founder of

Alex and Ani, had a net worth of 700 million (Dunn). Alex and Ani is a private, for-profit

company. The goal of for-profit companies is to make as much revenue as possible. Although

there may not be any clear motives as to why Alex and Ani, a company directed at earning

revenue, would be compelled to devote their resources to a non-profit organization, there are Deleted: t-for

many underlying factors that make this a mutually beneficial relationship.

Carolyn Rafaelian founded Alex and Ani in 2004. She had grown up admiring her

fathers jewelry factory in Cranston, Rhode Island. Over the past 13 years, Rafaelian has been Deleted: Carolyn

able to grow her company from twenty-five people, working in a warehouse basement, to over Deleted:

one thousand employees, working in over sixty retail stores (Vaccaro). As her company

continued to grow, she found innovative ways to impact the people surrounding her through art.

Alex and Ani has donated millions of dollars, not only to large world-wide corporations, but also

to charities in surrounding neighborhoods. The company has donated to The University of Rhode

Island, Rhode Island College, Crossroads Rhode Island, etc. (Vaccaro). Carolyn Rafaelian has

been able to continuously donate to charities without forgetting about the state where she grew

up.
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Alex and Ani embraces the power of positivity. Ancient civilians referred to this energy

form as chi and prana. This natural energy is now referred to as a vital force that supports

life. Alex and Ani have made multiple contributions to the University of Rhode Island, but they

all have a common theme; human wellbeing. Alex and Ani began their association with the

school in 2012, when they announced their sponsorship of the athletics at the University of

Rhode Island (URI Athletics and the Ryan Center). At first glance, a partnership between a

jewelry company and an athletic organization seems odd, but it has proved to be strategic. Alex

and Ani supports their mission statement by their association with the University of Rhode Island

Athletics. The public sponsorship of an organization aimed at the fitness and well-being of

individuals allowed Alex and Ani to receive recognition for conserving the wellbeing of our

planet, our communities, and our individual paths, as stated in their Company Ethos (ALEX

AND ANI). According to Alex and Ani sources, their revenue was expected to increase more

than 120 million dollars from 2012 to 2013 (Nagle). As positive publicity increases, revenue

increases follow. The Director of Marketing for Alex and Ani, Iris Carlomusto, is aware that as

the company continues to create public relationships with organizations that have a positive Deleted: with

reputation, their revenue will increase. Deleted: s

Along with receiving positive recognition for their sponsorship of the University of

Rhode Islands athletics, they have also created numerous marketing opportunities. From a

marketing standpoint, Alex and Ani targets young adults. The company has created trendy

jewelry at an affordable price. By spreading their brand name throughout a college campus, the

company has the ability to market to thousands of individuals in their ideal demographic. By

signing the contract for official sponsorship rights of the University of Rhode Island Athletics,

Alex and Ani was given the branding rights to all team bench chairs along with the remodeling
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of the Ryan Center Court. The basketball court is now re-designed with the companys logo

displayed on both ends of the floor. Not only did they remodel the court, but they re-named it Deleted: the arena is now

The Alex and Ani Court at the Thomas M. Ryan Center (Costa). The marketing continued with

a clever publicity angle that connected the renovation to the companys mission. The university,

as well as Alex and Ani, claimed that the redesigned court will create a new energy among the

players and fans (URI Athletics). A sponsorship that appeared to be more beneficial for the

University of Rhode Island proved to have an equal benefit for Alex and Ani.

Carolyn Rafaelian has made it her personal goal to promote positive energy using her

company. As the company began to grow, Rafaelian created a new segment that was aimed at Deleted: Carolyn

giving back to the community. Charity by Design is a line of jewelry within Alex and Ani that

donates 20 percent of its proceeds to charitable organizations (Charity by Design). The

University of Rhode Island was one of the non-profit organizations that received a donation from

Alex and Ani. In 2014, Alex and Ani donated one million dollars to the University of Rhode

Island (Daily 401). The donation was used to fund the research of improving human well-being

from plant-based molecules. In return, the president of the University of Rhode Island named the

existing pharmaceutical lab the ALEX AND ANI Impact Lab (URI Today). The donation

toward a research topic aimed at their companys mission resulted in publicity among the

campus. Again, the company was able to find an innovative technique to target their ideal

demographic group. Typically, a donation is something given to a charity without any means of

reciprocation. Instead, Alex and Ani was able to donate money and create a new marketing

outlet.

Not only has the University of Rhode Island partnered with Alex and Ani, but the

organizations have intertwined. Ryan Bonifacino was the Vice President of Digital Strategy at
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Alex and Ani. As the the Vice President of Digital Strategy, he managed marketing as well as

relationships with outside vendors. In 2013, Ryan Bonifacino was appointed to the Executive

Advisory Board of the Harrington School of Communications and Media at the University of

Rhode Island (Daily 401). When the University appointed Bonifacino, it gave Alex and Ani a

new means of determining their future relationship with the university.

The University of Rhode Island is dependent on sponsors and donations. Being a non-

profit organization, the only means of funding comes from student tuition, state legislators, and

third-party companies. There has been a huge decrease in government funding, which gives the

university two options: increase tuition or accept donations. The university received many forms

of payment from Alex and Ani and in return they created new marketing opportunities for the

company. The difference between the exchanges of the organizations is that Alex and Ani

offered a tangible item while the University of Rhode Island offered an opportunity that was

intangible, but equally beneficial. Alex and Ani gained a multitude of publicity for their

humbling acts toward human well-being. Although the reciprocation of the University of Rhode

Island was publicized, it was never the highlight of the article. Alex and Ani was able to improve

their reputation while also gaining new forms of marketing.

A sponsorship that seemed to be straight-forward proved to be multidimensional. An eco-

conscious jewelry company aimed and creating positivity among humanity successfully

partnered with a non-profit university seeking to provide an education for individuals of diverse

backgrounds. Alex and Ani and the University of Rhode Island did not appear to have a common

goal, but in fact are both striving for the well-being of humanity. The partnership remains as two

diverse companies merge together for a common goal. Alex and Ani has taken advantage of the

new marketing opportunities that the partnership has created. The word of mouth is a powerful
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tool. The University of Rhode Island has been able to improve its athletic facility and begin

ground-breaking research to improve the lives of individuals. Both organizations have been able

to create a positive opportunity to fuel the future of their institutions.

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Works Cited Formatted: Font:+Theme Body (Calibri)


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About URI. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2017. Formatted: Font:+Theme Body (Calibri), 12 pt
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"Charity By Design." ALEX AND ANI. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2017. Formatted: Font:+Theme Body (Calibri), 12 pt
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Costa, Lauren. "URI Introduces 'Alex and Ani Court' at Thomas M. Ryan Center. Narragansett Formatted: Font:+Theme Body (Calibri), 12 pt

South Kingstown, RI Patch. Patch, 11 Sept. 2013. Web. 07 May 2017. Formatted: Indent: First line: 0.5", Line spacing: double
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Cunha, Brendon. "Alex and Ani Donated 1 Million to URI." ALEX AND ANI. N.p., 24 Nov. 2014. Formatted: Line spacing: double

Web. 07 May 2017. Formatted: Indent: First line: 0.5", Line spacing: double

Cunha, Brendon. "Alex And Anis Ryan Bonifacino On URI Harrington School Advisory Formatted: Font:+Theme Body (Calibri), 12 pt
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Board." ALEX AND ANI. N.p., 25 Oct. 2013. Web. 07 May 2017. Formatted: Indent: First line: 0.5", Line spacing: double
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Dunn, Laura. "Women in Business Q&A: Carolyn Rafaelian, Founder, CEO and CCO, Alex and Formatted: Font:+Theme Body (Calibri), 12 pt
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Ani." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 21 Apr. 2016. Web. 07 May 2017. Formatted: Indent: First line: 0.5", Line spacing: double

Fenton, Josh. "Business | Alex and Ani Fuels Economy - Creates Thousands of Jobs in Formatted: Line spacing: double

RI." GoLocalProv. GoLocalProv, 16 Sept. 2013. Web. 07 May 2017. Formatted: Indent: First line: 0.5", Line spacing: double
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Rau, Elizabeth. "URI Pharmacy Student Collaborates with Alex and Ani to Design Bracelets That
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Bring Water to Poor Communities Worldwide." URI Today. N.p., 7 Jan. 2015. Web. 07
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May 2017. Formatted: Font:+Theme Body (Calibri), 12 pt


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"URI Athletics and The Ryan Center, Alex and Ani Announce Sponsorship Agreement." Rhode Formatted: Line spacing: double

Island. N.p., 08 Nov. 2012. Web. 07 May 2017. Formatted: Indent: First line: 0.5", Line spacing: double

Vaccaro, Bethany. "Alex & Ani: A Vital Force in Rhode Island." Quadangles Online. N.p., n.d. Formatted: Line spacing: double

Web. 07 May 2017. Formatted: Font:+Theme Body (Calibri), 12 pt


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Works Cited

Dunn, Laura. "Women in Business Q&A: Carolyn Rafaelian, Founder, CEO and CCO, Alex and
Ani." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 21 Apr. 2016. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.
<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-dunn/women-in-business-qa-caro_b_9753484.html>.
About URI. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <http://web.uri.edu/about/mission/>.
Vaccaro, Bethany. "Alex & Ani: A Vital Force in Rhode Island." Quadangles Online. N.p., n.d.
Web. 19 Feb. 2017. <http://web.uri.edu/quadangles/alex-ani-a-vital-force-in-rhode-island/>.
"URI Athletics and The Ryan Center, Alex and Ani Announce Sponsorship Agreement." URI
Athletics and The Ryan Center, Alex and Ani Announce Sponsorship Agreement - Rhode Island.
N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017. <http://www.gorhody.com/genrel/releases/1108_alexani>.
"Sign in to Your Account." Charity By Design | ALEX AND ANI. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.
<http://www.alexandani.com/charity-by-design>.
Sign in to Your Account." Daily 401. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2017.
<https://www.alexandani.com/blog/alex-and-ani-donates-1-million-to-university-of-rhode-
island/>.
GoLocalProv Business Team and Kate Nagle. "Business | Alex and Ani Fuels Economy -Creates
Thousands of Jobs in RI." GoLocalProv. GoLocalProv, n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.
<http://www.golocalprov.com/business/Alex-and-Ani-Fuels-Economy-Creates-Thousands-of-
Jobs-in-RI>.
Costa, Lauren. "URI Introduces Alex and Ani Court at Thomas M. Ryan Center."Narragansett-
South Kingstown, RI Patch. Patch, 11 Sept. 2013. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <http://patch.com/rhode-
island/narragansett/uri-introduces-alex-and-ani-court-at-thomas-m-ryan-center>.
"URI Pharmacy Student Collaborates with Alex and Ani to Design Bracelets That Bring Water
to Poor Communities Worldwide." URI Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.
<https://today.uri.edu/news/uri-pharmacy-student-collaborates-with-alex-and-ani-to-design-
bracelets-that-bring-water-to-poor-communities-worldwide/>.
"Sign in to Your Account." Daily 401. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.
<https://www.alexandani.com/blog/alex-and-ani-ryan-bonifacino-on-uri-harrington-school-
advisory-board/>.

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