By Barry Janoff
December 1, 2014: With the first College Football Playoff rapidly approaching, Hershey's Reese's Peanut Butter Cups has signed a deal with ESPN to enhance brand's presence among fans, consumers and during the upcoming playoff games, including the inaugural National Championship Game in January.
Reese's said it has signed a multi-year deal to build a platform "surrounding key ESPN College Football properties." Financial terms were not released.
Reese's joins CFP official partners brands including Dr Pepper, which is the presenting sponsor of the CFP National Championship trophy; and Taco Bell, which is creating a Live Más Student section at the two playoff games and the National Championship Game.
Anchoring the strategy, Reese’s immediately becomes an official sponsor of CFP, an official sponsor of ESPN College GameDay Built by the Home Depot and a "proud sponsor" of ESPN College Football.
ESPN has broadcast rights to the two CFP semi-final games — the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual and the Allstate Sugar Bowl, both on Jan. 1, 2015, which will pit No. 1 versus No. 4 and No. 2 versus No. 3 as selected by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.
ESPN will then air the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship, taking place On Jan. 12, 2015 in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Under terms of the deal, Reese’s has promotional rights to the CFP, College GameDay and ESPN College Football trademarks for use in advertising, on-pack, POP displays and more. Marketing is expected to include TV, print, mobile, Internet and social media.
In addition, Reese’s is planning to have on-site activation at the CFP National Championship game.
“Reese’s brand is proud to join forces with ESPN for this new and exciting era in college football,” Jennifer Podhajsky, vp-U.S. Chocolate for The Hershey Company, said in a statement. “With the new College Football Playoff upon us, this gives the Reese’s brand an expanded and exciting opportunity to continue our leadership within intercollegiate athletics and brings the perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter to college football fans nationwide.”
Reese's is already an official corporate partner of the NCAA. Included among the brand's activations are title sponsor of the Reese’s Senior Bowl, an annual CFB game featuring the nation’s best senior collegiate football stars and top draft prospects (Jan. 24, 2015); host of the hoops March Madness Reese’s Final Four Friday; and title sponsor of the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Reese’s College All-Star Game.
According to Ed Erhardt, president, ESPN global customer marketing and sales, "Few combinations rival chocolate and peanut butter, but college football and Saturdays is among them. We look forward to joining the assets of ESPN and Reese's during this new era of the College Football Playoff to introduce yet another great combination to college football fans."
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