Reese’s Makes A Sweet College Hoops Play…

The Reese’s candy brand, owned by Hershey, has made steady inroads into college basketball in recent years. Most of the contact has been through signage and traditional advertising, but now as March Madness approaches the brand is looking to go full scale with a new activation which can amplify the brand equity they have built in the space the last few years.

Reese’s will present, a fandom-focused website giving NCAA enthusiasts the ultimate resource to celebrate sports, from university traditions and interactive apps to game day recipes and beyond. The brand will use a variety of activities to encourage college fans not just to try and win prizes but to actively build support for their school traditions, and eventually engage and win  a trip to the 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four Game in Dallas, Texas.

Through its national partnership with IMG College, Hershey developed a way to use school intellectual property assets under the “Let’s Go Reese’s” theme. They selected three schools, Duke, Florida and Kentucky, and will build custom video programs to bring fans inside the unique traditions that make the three hoops schools special, in a video series hosted by the Second City Comedian Joey Bland.

The brand is also giving any fan the ability to interact on the site and in the mobile space with a series of promotions that include:

·         the Recipe Matchmaker that helps select the right dish for any crowd based on criteria such as fans’ favorite school colors and the amount of prep time available;

·         the Sign Studio for creating custom signs with school colors and preferred mantras  to show team spirit; and

·         the Nickname Generator that assigns the perfect fan handle based on the answers to a few quick questions or an evaluation of fans’ Facebook profiles.

For all who register there is a grand prize, a trip for four (one winner and their four guests) to the 2014 NCAA Final Four Game in Dallas and an  additional 500 First Prizes will also be awarded to the tune of a $100 NCAA Store Certificate but the promo has legs way beyond winning a trip for those who are interested enough to engage.

For Reese’s it is a great next step in custom-branded promotions to target the college basketball audience. It has the cache of tying with big programs in year one that will drive some numbers, but is customizable enough so that the Butlers and the VCU’s and even the Lehigh’s can find a niche and engage and maybe grab some time in the social space before March Madness begins. The promo also gives the brand the ability to stretch the engagement out a full year to the 2014 Final Four, building even more equity in the markets of the winners and priming a larger potential space amongst a wide number of colleges where hoops is hot. All of that will be reinforced with the signage Reece’s has already taken in college tournament sand broadcasts, making the candy brand the go-to winner for engagement in a space that is nowhere near as crowded as its football cousin is in the fall.

A sweet deal for a brand that is carving its college strategy through hoops.