SBJ/February 18 - 24, 2002/This Weeks Issue

Dew to carry Madness banner for Pepsi

The Mountain Dew promo will be carried
on 400 million packages.

NCAA corporate sponsor Pepsi is leveraging its Final Four rights with a "Don't Miss the Madness" promotion that will offer 4.5 million prizes and will be splashed across 400 million packages of Mountain Dew-branded beverages later this month.

The instant-win, under-the-cap contest will be on six-, 12- and 24-packs of Mountain Dew, Diet Mountain Dew and Code Red, as well as on two-liter, three-liter and single-serve 20-ounce and one-liter bottles. The contest dangles four trips for four to the 2003 men's Final Four in New Orleans as grand prizes.

Consumers also can collect caps with 274 school names on them. If the name on the cap is the men's or women's Final Four winner, the cap can be redeemed for a basketball jersey from any of 16 perennial NCAA powerhouses: Temple, Duke, North Carolina, Arizona, Kentucky, Stanford, Maryland, Syracuse, St. John's, Purdue, Iowa, Boston College, Texas, Illinois, UConn and Michigan. In addition, consumers can collect and redeem 32 bottle tops from Mountain Dew beverages for a Final Four ballcap.

Ad support starts later this month. Pepsi will tag Code Red TV ads that feature NBA stars Tracy McGrady and Chris Webber with contest details; radio ads use Webber and Dick Vitale. Pepsi has NCAA tourney ad packages on both CBS (men's) and ESPN (women's). Sources said that including media and prizes, the promotional support will be about $10 million.

While there are no dedicated TV ads behind its NCAA promo this year, Pepsi is dedicating its NCAA promo to a single brand this year for the first time and including multipacks and single-serve sizes. The rationale is that the NCAA and Mountain Dew are a good match.

"Those two brands [NCAA and Mountain Dew] are all about excitement and exhilaration, and they reach the same consumer," said senior marketing manager Scott Finlow.

Like all NCAA corporate partners, Pepsi is in the final year of its sponsorship agreement, which includes Aquafina. The water brand gets sideline exposure during the tourney, an anomaly for the NCAA, which allows almost no venue-based marketing assets. The NCAA logo will be on about 100 million bottles and multipacks distributed during February and March.

With Gatorade, which considers bottled water its biggest competitor, now under Pepsi ownership and NCAA rights at premium prices, the question of a renewal or expanded Pepsi sponsorship that includes Gatorade and other Pepsi products is one that will surely be considered.

Dew to carry Madness banner for Pepsi

Brand and NCAA basketball tourney called a good match; instant-win contest offers 4.5 million prizes

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Colleges, PepsiCo

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