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Volume 24 No. 115

Marketing and Sponsorship

Hershey has extended its NCAA corporate partner agreements with CBS and Turner through '16, while signing a new deal with IMG College through '16 as well. As part of the deals with the nets, Hershey has access to marketing rights across all NCAA championships, including the continued title sponsorship of the Reese's College All-Star Game during Final Four weekend and the title sponsorship of Reese's Final Four Friday. Hershey will continue as the NCAA's official candy partner. Meanwhile, the company's deal with IMG College gives Reese's brand rights at 49 colleges and the official candy designation at each school (Hershey). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Michael Smith cites industry sources as saying that Hershey will "activate heavily at retail with the college marks it has acquired" in the IMG College deal. Its focus will be "mostly on in-store merchandising, with use of the schools’ logos on packaging, and radio advertising across those schools." POS material will "utilize Hershey’s new relationship with the schools in each market, giving it the ability to localize its marketing." The deal also enables Hershey "to use more than one school mark on a single product, in cases where multiple schools might be in the same market." Hershey is the "first consumer packaged goods company to sign a comprehensive deal with IMG College." UPS, MillerCoors and Hyundai were the first major brands to sign deals with IMG College last year (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/3 issue).

Highmark has renewed its agreement as the official insurance supplier of the USOC. The company extended its deal through ‘16. Financial terms were not available. Highmark has historically been a USOC supplier and those deals are valued at $3-10M over four years. Under terms of the agreement, Highmark will provide health insurance to the USOC, Team USA and the U.S. Paralympic team.

: Allstate plans to discontinue its sponsorship of Team USA, becoming the first USOC sponsor this year to forgo renewing its partnership. Sources said that the insurer made the decision before the London Games. The company has been the official insurer of the USOC since '02, and its deal was valued at $10-15M over four years. Allstate has done limited activation around the USOC in recent years. Its primary promotion of the sponsorship was centered on the U.S. Olympic HOF, of which it has been the presenting sponsor since '04. For more on Allstate's move, see this week's SportsBusiness Journal.