Dr Pepper Snapple Group this week will roll out a new effort around Gold Medal-winning U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney and the N.Y. TIMES' Stuart Elliott noted it will focus on "five new soft drinks that are entries in the lower-calorie category of the carbonated beverage market along with Dr Pepper Ten." Maroney on Thursday will appear at Penn Station in N.Y., and the public "will be encouraged to sample 7Up Ten and take photographs in which they share their 'impressed' looks with her." Dr Pepper Snapple Group Senior VP/Marketing Regan Ebert said other marketers "'have approached' Ms. Maroney and asked her to declare herself impressed with their brands." However, Ebert added Maroney has "agreed to do it with us, exclusively for us.” Maroney's fee is not being disclosed, and Ebert said that the gymnast will "not appear in an advertising campaign for the five new soft drinks." Elliott noted N.Y.-based social media and digital agency Code & Theory "will work with Dr Pepper Snapple on the promotional event on Thursday" (NYTIMES.com, 2/25).
Marketing and Sponsorship
The Maryland Jockey Club will unveil its marketing campaign for the 138th Preakness Stakes in the next few weeks, and MJC President Tom Chuckas said that Kegasus, the “beer-guzzling centaur featured prominently in advertisements for the Preakness InfieldFest during the last two years, will likely not be a part of this year’s plans,” according to Jack Lambert of the BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Chuckas said, “I think we’re at a different stage with the InfieldFest. I think the brand is much stronger.” Chuckas “did not completely rule out Kegasus from this year’s running of the Preakness.” But he said, “If you were a betting man, I think Kegasus has gone to the islands.” Kegasus was created by DC-based marketing firm Elevation Ltd. to “help attract a younger audience to the Preakness.” The campaign “drew criticism” from Maryland state Delegate Pat McDonough and others for “encouraging binge drinking.” But Kegasus also “drew national attention and helped boost ticket sales” the past two years. Chuckas said that he “expects attendance at the 2013 Preakness Stakes to rival last year’s total, thanks in part to the presence” of musical acts Pitbull and Macklemore (BIZJOURNALS.com, 2/25). Preakness organizers said that the Mug Club, which offers unlimited refills of beer in a souvenir mug, will "return this year.” In Baltimore, Wesley Case reported the Mug Club is “available in two areas of the infield, and costs an additional $20” (BALTIMORESUN.com, 2/25).