Basic information about SORC Lotteries:

  • The use of Diag boards, Diag banners, Table Tents, and the Michigan Union banner is determined by lottery. A lottery is conducted three times per year:
    • Early August for Fall semester
    • Early December for Winter semester
    • Late April for Summer 
  • For Diag boards and Diag banners, groups that apply are randomly assigned an appointment time during "Lottery Week."  A representative from the group must join SORC staff via video call on the designated date and time to reserve spaces.
  • For Table Tents and the Michigan Union banner, groups that apply will either win a space, or not. There are no appointments; winning groups simply need to complete a contract to claim their space. There is no lottery for the Michigan Union banner or Table Tents in the Summer.

Very important things to know:

  • If you enter the Union banner lottery and/or the Table Tent lottery, there is no appointment.  You will either win a space, or you won't.  You'll be instructed how and when to accept the space and complete a contract to make it official.
  • For the Fall and Winter lotteries, if you enter both the Diag board and Diag Banner Pole lotteries, you will have two separate appointments. For the Summer lottery, you will reserve both Diag Boards and Diag Banner Poles at the same appointment. Depending on the demand, there might not be a lottery for Summer reservations. Plan to arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
  • At your appointment, a SORC reservationist will guide you through the available spaces.  Please consult Diag board maps and Diag banner maps in advance and prepare a list of your preferred locations.  It can be a struggle to fit over a hundred appointments into one day and stay on schedule, so it helps greatly if you make a list of preferred locations ahead of time.
  • Each group is granted a 10-minute grace period, after which the appointment is forfeited.  SORC staff members enforce this grace period very strictly.  If you join the video call 11 minutes late, do not expect that an exception will be made for you. You are not just 1 minute late; you are 21 minutes late. By then we will be assisting another client.
  • Lottery appointments happen during class hours. When you learn what your lottery appointment time is, you must arrange for another group member to attend your appointment if it falls during your class.  Any member of your organization can reserve spaces for your group, but this MUST BE DONE AT YOUR SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT TIME.
  • Availability of spaces after the appointments, especially for the Fall and Winter lotteries, is very limited. 
  • In other words...DON'T MISS YOUR APPOINTMENT!!
  • If you fail to finalize the contract before the deadline, the spaces you reserve will be canceled and later offered to groups who did not get spaces. SORC management will grant extensions to the deadline under extenuating circumstances, by request only. To request an extension, call SORC at least one hour before the payment deadline. Finalizing a contract means:
    • An authorized signer acknowledges Content and Construction requirements (more below).
    • An authorized signer authorizes the charge to your shortcode.
    • Note: the authorization is legally binding, but the charge will be processed the week before your reservation begins.
  • If your organization wins one of the four available Table Tent spaces each week, you must simply accept them and pay for the weekly space rental by emailing us during lottery week, anytime before the deadline. Full instructionsi for the Table Tent lottery herePro tip: if you reserve at least 3 SORC advertising services for the same reservation period, you are eligible for a 10% discount!
  • In order to speed up the process and provide the best possible service, the sale of materials, use of the fax machine, and reservation of other SORC services may be suspended during lottery appointments. We are not able to inflate or deliver balloons during lottery week. All of these services will resume after lottery appointments are finished.
  • Your group is responsible for awareness of and adherence to SORC eligibility and content requirements and University of Michigan trademark and identity guidelines and construction requirements for each type of medium.

Preparing for the entire year:

  • Fall Lottery
    • Participate in the Fall lottery to reserve advertising spaces for late August through mid-January.
    • Fall Lottery applications are online and are typically open from May through late July.
    • Appointments typically take place the 2nd week of August.
    • Put a reminder in your calendar for late July, and you won't miss anything.
  • Winter Lottery
    • Participate in the Winter lottery to reserve advertising spaces for mid-January through late April.
    • Winter Lottery applications are online and are typically open from the first week of November through early December.
    • Appointments typically take place in mid-December.
    • Put a reminder in your calendar for Thanksgiving, and you won't miss anything.
  • Summer Lottery
    • Participate in the Summer lottery to reserve advertising spaces for early May through late August.  
    • Summer Lottery applications are online and are typically open from late March through the middle of April. NOTE: depending on demand, there might not be a Summer lottery.
    • Appointments take place in early May.
    • Put a reminder in your calendar for early April, and you won't miss anything.
  • An announcement of the exact dates each semester is sent several weeks in advance to the SORC e-mail list.  To subscribe to that list, click here.

The Lottery in 3 steps

Step 1: Decide which lotteries to enter

  • In the Fall and Winter, there are separate applications for:
    • Diag Boards
    • Diag Banner Poles
    • Table Tents
    • Michigan Union banner
  • In the Summer, there is just one application:
    • Diag Boards and Diag Banner Poles
    • Table Tents are not available from May through August
    • The Michigan Union Banner is available from May through August by request

Step 2: Submit the online application(s)

  • The deadline for all applications is the week before the lottery appointments. 
  • When you submit your application online, please be sure that after you click "Submit" you see a page that says "Thank you! Your input has been received!"
  • If you do not get directed to this page, it is possible that your application was not received.
  • We make extensive efforts to ensure that no applications are omitted, but the wonders of technology are not flawless.
  • To be absolutely certain, email SORC a day or two before the deadline to get indisputable verification (an e-mail from the clerk) that your application was received.

Step 3: Find out the lottery results to see if you won

  • Lottery results will be posted online at least 48 hours before appointments begin. 
    • We send an e-mail announcement a couple days before the lottery, but the list of recipients is large, and spam filters sometimes block messages; you might not receive an e-mail.
    • You will not be notified by telephone. 
    • Ultimately, it is your responsibility to find out your appointment time.  This information is readily available via website, email, or phone, but you have to look.
  • Fall/Winter:
    • Diag board and banner reservations take several days. The exact schedule varies by semester and is contingent upon class schedules of SORC student employees.
      • Diag banner reservation appointments are scheduled between 10:30-4:30. These usually go quickly because there are only 9 locations to choose from.
      • Diag board reservation appointments are scheduled between 10:30-5:30. These take longer because there are over 75 locations to choose from.
    • For Table Tents and the Michigan Union banner, there's no appointment. Simply accept and pay for the space rental as instructed (there is a timeline).
  • Summer:
    • Diag Boards and Diag Banner Pole appointments are all on the same day, typically 10AM-5PM.
    • You can reserve both services (Diag Boards and Diag Banner Poles) at the same appointment.
    • There is no lottery for Table Tents or the Michigan Union banner in the Summer.

Still have questions?