By Barry Janoff
October 14, 2015: Athletes generally have strict diets, especially when training for the Olympics.
Thanks to the U.S. Olympic Committee, however, the dietary rules might be bent a bit to include Hershey’s, Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses and Twizzlers.
USOC has signed a five-year deal with The Hershey Co., naming it an official sponsor and the confectionery partner of Team USA.
Financial terms of the pact, which runs through 2020, were not disclosed.
The partnership with the USOC, effective immediately, will include the Hershey corporate brand as well as some of the company’s iconic products, including Hershey’s, Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses and Twizzlers.
It will also include two of the company’s newer additions: Brookside Dark Chocolate and Krave Premium Jerky.
Hershey's Reese's is also the official candy partner of the NCAA.
The alliance covers the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams through the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, the Winter 2028 Games in PyeongChang and the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games.
”We are thrilled to welcome The Hershey Company and its iconic family of brands to the Team USA family of partners,“ Lisa Baird, USOC CMO, said in a statement. “We know that Hershey’s will demonstrate their support of America’s elite Olympic and Paralympic athletes in exciting and innovative ways, and we sincerely look forward to celebrating with them on the Road to Rio and beyond.”
The USOC's prior deal in the category was also with Hershey, which ended after the 2008 Summer Olympics In Beijing.
Although marketing details have not yet been finalized, Hershey said it would begin to support its USOC sponsorship "through a variety of media channel activations" over the course of 2016 leading up to the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.
As part of the agreement, Hershey will secure exclusive sponsorship and promotional rights from the USOC and will be able to utilize those rights in advertising, on packaging, merchandising and elsewhere.
According to Mary-Ann Somers, vp-North American Confection for The Hershey Company, “Hershey is truly one of America’s most iconic and beloved companies and we are incredibly proud and honored to support Team USA and begin our journey with the United States Olympic Committee.
"Both Hershey and Team USA share a unique, irreplaceable place in the hearts, lives and memories of many Americans; we want our country and athletes to know that Hershey is here to help bring moments of goodness and patriotic pride throughout the games and beyond," said Somers.
The alliance with the USOC comes one day after Hershey unveiled Nourishing Minds, described as a "global social purpose that will provide children in the United States and abroad with the basic nutrition that is critical for them to learn and grow."
According to the company, "By using expertise in food production and making great tasting snacks, Hershey will feed children in need today and give their communities necessary resources to ensure food security in the future. The goal is to nourish one million minds by 2020."
Global marketing partners for the International Olympic Committee and the USOC include Atos, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Dow, GE, McDonald's, Omega, Panasonic, Samsung, P&G and Visa.
Other USOC partners include 24 Hour Fitness, Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), AT&T, BMW North America, BP, Chobani, Citi, Dick's, The Hartford, Hilton, Kellogg's, Liberty Mutual, Nike, Smucker's, TD Ameritrade and United Airlines.
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