By Barry Janoff
February 26, 2014: Hershey's brand Reese's will put its hoops money where its peanut butter cups are, unveiling initial elements to support the upcoming NCAA Div. I Men's Basketball Tournament that include a prize-laden sweepstakes, March Madness-specific products and title sponsorship of Final Four Friday.
Reese's, the official candy partner of the NCAA, is releasing Fan Edition Printed Cups, a line of peanut butter cups with basketball designs printed on them. Reese's said this would be the first time it is using "edible printing technology" for its peanut butter cups.
The product, which will come in ten different designs, will be available in Target and Walgreens stores now throughout the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Basketball Championships.
Reese's will also launch a March Madness "Make the Crowd Go Wild" sweepstakes. Being offered are prizes including a 32-inch LG Plasma TV, basketballs, Reese's sweets and a gym bag loaded with workout goodies,. A grand prize offers a trip to the 2015 NCAA Men's Final Four, which will take place in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (Details here.)
The 2014 Final Four will be held in AT&T Stadium in Dallas April 5 and April 7.
In addition, Reese's has title sponsorship for Final Four Friday, a free event open to fans that includes one of the last practice sessions by the hoops teams that make it to the Final Four, comments from each head coach, on-court promotions and the Reese’s College All Star-Game, which stars the top Div. I senior basketball student-athletes from around the nation.
Reese's will support with TV, print, Internet, social media including Facebook and Twitter and other fan-specific activations.
Among the edible peanut butter cup designs are basketball jerseys, basketballs, March Madness brackets and such hoops terms as "Double Team," "Nothing But Net" and "Dual Threat." Fan Edition packaging includes the NCAA logo and a basketball player silhouette.
"We are very excited to introduce this new printing technology for Reese's college basketball fans, just in time for NCAA March Madness," John Maitrejean, senior manager for Reese's brand, said in a statement. "The basketball-related designs complement our role as the official candy partner of the NCAA and title sponsor of the Reese's College All-Star Game. This is new and exciting territory for us and one that holds a lot of promise for our fans."
NCAA top tier corporate partners are AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola.
In addition to Reese's, official marketing partners include Allstate, Buffalo Wild Wings, Buick, Burger King, Enterprise, infiniti, LG, Lowe's, Nabisco, Northwest Mutual, Unilever and UPS.
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