Cal Poly Experience Innovation Lab Receives $500,000 Donation from George P. Johnson

The partnership is an investment in the future of experience marketing and design

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The future of experience marketing and design is in expert hands as the world’s leading experiential marketing agency — George P. Johnson (GPJ), part of the Project Worldwide agency network — pledged $500,000 to the development of an experiential learning lab at Cal Poly.

The Experience Innovation Lab will be both a research and creative space to design immersive personal, technological, and digital experiences in collaboration with industry partners and GPJ clients. It will engage students in invaluable, real-world experience design and marketing — all part of the Learn by Doing philosophy at the university.

“Cal Poly’s hands-on educational model provides the perfect environment for students, faculty and industry partners to come together in the new Experience Innovation Lab to dream and create,” Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong said. “We are grateful for George P. Johnson’s support of Learn by Doing at Cal Poly.”

The Experience Innovation Lab, a place for burgeoning experiential marketing leaders and experience designers to grow and innovate, will be part of the Boswell Ag Tech Center, which is included in the $125 million William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation, now under construction.

Led by the Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences’ pioneering Experience Industry Management Department, the Experience Innovation Lab will emphasize an interdisciplinary approach utilizing faculty and student expertise across campus to include experience industry management, architecture, computer science, engineering, food science, wine, marketing, graphic design, and theater, among other disciplines.

Teams of faculty and students will work with industry partners including GPJ executives to solve the experience industry’s complex needs and to anticipate disruptors within the event, travel, hospitality, sport, recreation and experience marketing and design space.

“George P. Johnson’s partnership with Cal Poly provides students with national and international opportunities and experiences,” said Andrew Thulin, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. “This donation will ensure that students have access to the latest in experience marketing and design — including some of the brightest talents in the industry — and are prepared to meet the demands of the growing industry immediately upon graduation.”

In addition to GPJ’s financial investment in the development of the facility, the agency is also tapping members of its senior leadership team to lend their expertise to the design and development of the lab, acting as mentors and contributors to the programming and use of the space.

On GPJ’s investment in the education of future experience marketers, CEO Chris Meyer stated, “GPJ has been the leader in experiential marketing for over a century. As this industry develops and its prominence within the general marketing sphere continues to grow, it’s imperative that we invest our resources into future pioneers that will continue to advance the space. Higher learning centers allow for a safe testing ground for students to try out their wildest ideas, building the pipeline of innovators to come. Having been ingrained in this work for decades, GPJ is able to offer unique perspectives and insights to truly make this a state-of-the-art learning experience that will foster the future leadership of our industry.”

About George P. Johnson Experience Marketing

As the world’s leading experiential marketing agency, GPJ enables brand marketers to benefit from integrated experiential programs that leverage online, mobile and physical brand interactions fueled by data. Clients in technology, automotive, healthcare, consumer goods, finance and other industries rely on GPJ to help them compete more effectively on a global basis by creating and accelerating relationships with customers, employees, partners, media and other influencers. GPJ is part of Project Worldwide, a modern agency network built for the needs of contemporary marketers. Visit to learn more.

About Project Worldwide

Project is an independent, global network in service of creativity. With 2,200+ people in 44 offices, Project’s agencies make things that inspire people to participate and act on behalf of clients’ brands. Project’s portfolio of agencies includes ARGONAUT, DARKHORSE, Dig&Fish, George P. Johnson, G7 Entertainment Marketing, JUXT, Motive, Partners + Napier, Praytell, Raumtechnik, School, Shoptology, Spinifex Group, and Wondersauce. Visit for more information.

About Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, comprehensive polytechnic university. The university’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences is comprised of expert faculty members who take pride in their ability to transform academically motivated students into innovative professionals ready to solve the complex challenges associated with feeding the world in sustainable ways. Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories, including ranch land, orchards, vineyards and forests, all of which provide the basis for Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing methodology. It is the fifth-largest college of agriculture in the country, with 4,000 undergraduate students. Visit for more information.

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