April 17, 2010: General Mills has unveiled its second NBA-themed marketing promotion for Wheaties Fuel since the cereal launched late last year. The cereal giant is tapping into the league's post-season with a Twitter-based activation for Wheaties Fuel giving hoops fans an opportunity to become the MVT — “Most Valuable Tweeter" — offering consumers the chance to win a year’s supply of Wheaties Fuel and memorabilia autographed by one of the Wheaties Fuel athletes: Kevin Garnett, Peyton Manning and Albert Pujols.
According to Wheaties, to compete for the title of MVT, participants must sign-up for a free Twitter account beginning April 17 and then add #MVT to their tweets during each of the four rounds of the NBA playoffs. Ten finalists will be chosen for each playoff round in three categories: Most Tweets, Most Retweets and Furthest Reach (or most followers). Finalists of each round will receive a year’s supply of Wheaties Fuel.
The finalists will then have their tweets evaluated, and the person whose tweets are reposted, forwarded, quoted and commented on the most will be deemed the “Most Valuable Tweeter.” The MVT of each round will receive a Wheaties Fuel-branded item autographed by one of the Wheaties Fuel athletes. (Full details here.)
Wheaties tied the launch of Fuel into a sweepstakes offering consumers tickets to the 2010 NBA All-Star Game in Dallas.
For the Twitter promotion, Wheaties offers this advice at its Web site: "Strategically, it's better to tweet something related to basketball plus the hash tag rather than any old tweet that has nothing to do with [basketball] plus the hash tag. The winner will be announced once our algorithm and judges panel have done their thing."
People are apparently taking the promotion, if not the advice to talk about basketball, to heart. Posts at Twitter include: "Please retweet. Tryin to win a contest. #mvt wheaties fuel is the greatest cereal ever!"
“Wheaties Most Valuable Tweeter competition gives basketball fans a fun and interactive way to follow each playoff game,” said Dan Stangler, marketing manager for Wheaties. “But only the most dedicated and outspoken fans can earn the title of MVT.”
General Mills in its most recent financial report said that cereal sales were up 6% for the quarter versus the previous year "helped by the launch of Chocolate Cheerios and Wheaties Fuel." Wheaties Fuel was "designed to help meet the nutritional needs of today’s athletes" and was created with the help of Manning, Garnett, Pujols, triathlete Hunter Kemper,, gold medal-winning decathlete Bryan Clay and sports nutritionist Dr. John Ivy, per General Mills.