Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
March 4, 2012: Coca-Cola's PowerAde is the official sports drink of the NCAA. 7-Eleven stores know that consumers in March want to celebrate March Madness.
In anticipation of the Big Dance ready to being later this month, PowerAde and 7-Eleven have joined to honor four memorable moments in NCAA Men's Basketball Div. I Final Four history.
Four limited-edition cups are now available in participating 7-Eleven stores nationwide ($1.49 each). Each of the four "Miracle Match-up" Big Gulp cups features a stand-out former NCAA basketball student-athlete during a "game-changing play."
Included are (in chronological order): Lorenzo Charles, 1983, North Carolina State Wolfpack; Jon Bryant, 2000, University of Wisconsin Badgers; Taliek Brown, 2004, University of Connecticut Huskies; and Tony Skinn, 2006, George Mason University Patriots.
A quick response (QR) code on each Big Gulp cup links to a mobile PowerAde Web site, where CBS Sports analyst Greg Anthony hosts a brief video on each cup's featured big play. For a limited time, this video content is exclusive to 7-Eleven, compliments of PowerAde.
Other March Madness-related features this month at 7-Eleven stores include:
• A custom-made pair of neon-colored Slurpee high-top sneakers will be awarded to five Slurpee consumers. The cost to enter the contest is five Slurpee Rewards Points, and winners will be selected in a random drawing at the end of March. (Full details here.)
• Slurpee fans who tweet answers to daily basketball opinion or trivia questions on Twitter and include the hashtag – #BigGulpHoop – will be entered to win a Slurpee-branded mini-basketball hoop and ball. Five of the mini-hoops will be awarded daily during March.
• 7-Eleven has created a virtual towel pop (like painful towel pops in locker rooms after a big game) for sports-lovers to send to friends from the Slurpee Web page. The e-towel pop can be found on the Slurpee Nation Rewards page and is free to send. Unlimited towel pops can be sent, but only one animated snap at a time.
• A second free offer is a "teeny-tiny sweatband" for a Slurpee spoon-straw. The wee red, white and blue sweatband art can be printed from the Web page, cut out and affixed to any Slurpee straw, because nobody likes a sweaty straw.
"These Big Gulp collectible cups match up well with one of our key consumer demographics, sport fans ages 18 to 45," Jesus Delgado-Jenkins, 7-Eleven svp-merchandising, marketing and logistics, said in a statement. "These cups are a create value as a re-useable soft drink container."
A Mountain Berry Blast flavored by PowerAde is available on both Slurpee frozen carbonated beverage and Big Gulp fountain machines. This is the first time a PowerAde flavor has been developed for a 7-Eleven frozen carbonated beverage, but it is not a sports drink, according to Coca-Cola.