SBJ/August 14 - 20, 2006/This Weeks News

Energy drink brings some Havoc to campus

Havoc Energy Drink is using a collection of multimedia partnerships with several college conferences to help launch its new product.

Havoc, which was acquired in May by American Enterprise Development Corp., already has signed deals with the Big West Conference, Conference USA, Missouri Valley Conference and other midmajor leagues as the official water/tea/energy drink, which is a new category for most of the conferences. It is not considered a competitor to Gatorade in the performance drink category.

These conference deals range from three to five years in length with a value of anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000 annually. Havoc will activate with signs at conference championship events and also will sponsor public service announcements, as well as own the naming rights to a variety of player-of-the-week awards. The drink has full use of the conferences’ marks and also picks up space on conference Web sites.

Sports Media Inc., Chicago, negotiated the deal for Havoc and will handle the activation.

Andre Nicholson, Havoc’s vice president of marketing and operations, said his brand craved the loyalty that comes with school and conference ties. Havoc will focus on local and regional distribution at first.

“It’s a great niche for us when it comes to exposure,” Nicholson said.

Havoc’s customized product labels will feature team and conference logos, while one school will be highlighted with its team colors depending on the market where the drink is sold.

“We’re putting an emotional tie on the can itself,” Nicholson said.

The other conferences that have partnered with Havoc are Southland, Sun Belt, Big South, Colonial and Horizon, which gives the drink exposure in the Southeast, Midwest and West. Havoc also has a deal with the Houston Rockets and Spencer Suderman Airshows. Nicholson said he wants to pursue rugby and soccer teams abroad.

“Havoc is a perfect fit for the college market in that it’s a youth-oriented brand,” said Brian Bedol, president and CEO of CSTV, a Big West marketing partner that helped attract Havoc. “They are targeting college sports fans and alumni, people we have direct access to through our network.”

Havoc will be available in select markets later this month. A full rollout is scheduled for mid- to late September.

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