SBJ/January 14-20, 2013/Olympics

Kellogg’s to hit the slopes with USSA deal

Kellogg’s plans to make skiing and snowboarding a focus of its Olympic marketing efforts ahead of the 2014 Sochi Games.

The U.S. Olympic Committee sponsor recently signed a 16-month agreement with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association that makes its Kellogg’s brand the official breakfast nutrition partner of the U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. Snowboarding teams. It primarily will use the sponsorship to promote its Pop Tarts brand.

The deal gives Kellogg’s on-site signage at USSA Grand Prix events, 25 commercials on NBC and 20 commercials on NBC Sports Network. Financial terms weren’t available.

It is Kellogg’s first deal with a winter national governing body. It sponsored USA Gymnastics prior to the 2012 London Games.

“We really felt good about what USSA had to offer, and its potential,” said Sandy Uridge, Kellogg’s senior director, integrated consumer promotions. “Pop Tarts in recent months has refocused their brand on building the teen consumer base, and if you look at the member fan data base of the USSA, over 50 percent of it is teens. We really feel good about that, and some of those sports like snowboarding and freeskiing really appeal to that fan base and offer a great way for us to engage consumers.”

Kellogg’s plans to complement the USSA sponsorship by endorsing at least one skier or snowboarder. It hopes to finalize those agreements in the next month or two.

Uridge said Kellogg’s will have other brands involved in its Olympic marketing for the Sochi Games. It is still finalizing those plans. She said the organization may partner with other winter national governing bodies, too.

USSA Chief Marketing Officer Mike Jaquet, who joined the organization last year, wanted to add USOC sponsors ahead of Sochi. USSA has 24 sponsors, but the majority aren’t USOC sponsors, and Olympic rules prevent them from promoting their affiliation with the team during a Winter Games. USOC sponsors such as Visa and Kellogg’s can promote the ski and snowboard team and its athletes during the Games, and Jaquet believes that can raise the visibility of the sport.

“We want to push USSA athletes in national broadcast campaigns,” Jaquet said. “If we can do some things that stick out with Visa and Kellogg’s, then that’s going to hopefully send more USOC sponsors to me and make the team more recognizable.”

Kellogg’s is working with Krispr, a new division of Edelman, on its Olympic marketing. The public relations agency assisted on the USSA deal.

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