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Lecture markets ‘The Soloist’

Anthony Juarez
Staff Writer

Professors from the College of Business and Public Management demonstrated the versatility of marketing techniques on Monday through “Selling the Soloist,” the first lecture in this year’s Faculty Lecture Series.

Janis Dietz, professor of marketing, Susan Caple, assistant professor of marketing and Lisa Saye, assistant professor of public administration, demonstrated how to integrate marketing objectives into the “One Book, One University” program with emphasis on “The Soloist” by Steve Lopez.

“The Soloist” was the book selected for the “One Book, One University” program last year.

The book tells the true story of Lopez’s unlikely friendship with Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless man on Skid Row who had been a student at Julliard.

Dietz, Caple, and Saye discussed how to apply not only the University’s objectives through “The Soloist,” but also other objectives with a business and public administration perspective. These objectives include networking, marketing exchange and determining if and how students can connect marketing concepts to Lopez’s efforts to help Ayers.

The lecture opened to discussion about the differences in marketing between the book itself and 2009 movie adaptation starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx.

An audience member suggested the movie was marketed more toward the character of Lopez than Ayers, while the opposite was true for the book.

“There is a difference between marketing a movie and marketing Nathaniel,” Saye said.

The lecture ended with the idea that marketing students will face issues in their personal and business lives that were discussed in “The Soloist.”

Attendees left with a sense of knowing that marketing is universally applicable, even in the streets of Skid Row.

Anthony Juarez and be reached at

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