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The Hershey Co. has renewed its NCAA corporate partner agreement with CBS Sports and Turner Sports, and has also signed a new sponsorship deal with IMG College. Both agreements run through 2016 and raise Hershey’s profile within collegiate sports.
“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,” noted Dan Vucovich, SVP, president, United States at Pennsylvania-based Hershey. “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.”
Under the renewed agreement, Hershey has marketing rights across all 89 NCAA championships, including continued title sponsorship for its Reese’s College All-Star Game during the NCAA Men’s Final Four Weekend, which will air on CBS, and title sponsorship of Reese’s Final Four Friday. Additionally, Hershey, as the Official Candy Partner of the NCAA, will continue to refer to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups as the organization’s Official Candy. The candy maker will back the partnership with integrated marketing programs, promotional campaigns, activation platforms, social and digital media, and advertising across a range of media at the national, regional and local levels.
“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,” noted Mark Lewis, EVP for championships and alliances at Indianapolis-based NCAA, a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities dedicated to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities.
Further growing Hershey’s presence within college sports, the company’s new four-year partner agreement with collegiate multimedia, marketing and licensing/brand management company IMG College gives the Reese’s brand collective and individual rights at 49 universities nationwide for all intercollegiate athletics, as well as being designated the “Official Candy” of each school’s athletic program. In addition, the new sponsorship enables Reese’s to take advantage of such key media opportunities as radio advertising during school football radio broadcasts, promotional use of trademarks and logos, and digital and social media rights.
“Tapping into IMG’s national collegiate platform, Hershey gains the flexibility to utilize each school’s intellectual property to create customized retail promotions in each market, which will help differentiate the brand and drive overall awareness,” observed Roger VanDerSnick, chief sales and marketing officer at Winston-Salem, N.C.-based IMG College.
As part of a 14-year multimedia agreement with the NCAA, CBS Sports and Turner Sports manage the NCAA’s corporate marketing program.