Hershey Sweetens Marketing Deal With NCAA, Expands March Madness Presence
Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 11:50PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in College, Final Four, Hershey, NCAA, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

September 5, 2012: The Hershey Co., which has been an official NCAA Corporate Partner since 2008, said it has extended its alliance for four years to remain the official candy partner of the NCAA and for its Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to remain as the NCAA's official candy.

The deal was signed with CBS Sports and Turner Sports, which as part of the current 14-year multi-media agreement manage the NCAA’s corporate marketing program.

In addition, Hershey has a new sponsorship deal with sports marketing and multi-media firm IMG College, which gives Reese’s "collective and individual rights" at 49 universities nationwide for all intercollegiate athletics, as well as designation as the “official candy” at each of the respective athletic programs.

Both agreements will run through 2016. Financial terms were not disclosed.

In addition to Hershey, NCAA Corporate Partners include Allstate, Buick, Enterprise, Infiniti, LG, Lowe's, Northwestern Mutual, Unilever, UPS and Kraft Foods division Nabisco's Wheat Thins.

NCAA Corporate Champions are AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola.

Lowe's last week also signed with IMG College to expand its college footprint and secure exclusivity in the home improvement at schools across the country.

As part of the NCAA renewal, Hershey retains access to marketing rights across all 89 NCAA championships, including continued title sponsorship of the Reese’s College All-Star Game during the NCAA Men’s Final Four Weekend and title sponsorship of Reese’s Final Four Friday.

The men's Division I basketball championship is scheduled for April 6 and April 8, 2013, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Hershey said it would support the partnership with "integrated marketing programs, promotional campaigns, activation platforms, social and digital media and advertising across a variety of mediums at the national, regional and local levels."

Via its deal with IMG College, Hershey's Reese’s brand will have exclusive category opportunities including radio advertising in school football radio broadcasts, promotional use of trademarks and logos and digital and social media rights.

“This is an exciting time for Hershey as we extend our role as part of a prestigious group of NCAA partners [and] expand our presence within the collegiate realm."

“This is an especially exciting time for Hershey as we not only extend our role as part of a prestigious group of NCAA partners, but also expand our presence within the collegiate realm through our partnership with IMG College,” Dan Vucovich, svp, president, United States, for The Hershey Co. “The devotion, loyalty and tremendous following fans have for their respective NCAA teams mirrors the passion and desire people have for our iconic Reese’s candy, making the NCAA, Turner Sports, CBS Sports and IMG ideal partners to collaborate with and successfully market our full line of products.”

According to Mark Lewis, evp-championships and alliances for the NCAA, "Over the years, Hershey has demonstrated leading business principles and values, which echo the NCAA’s dedication to the highest standards in academics and athletics. We are thrilled Hershey will remain in the NCAA Corporate Partner family, and we look forward to four more successful years of working together.”

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