Hershey sweet on college hoops

The Hershey Company extended and expanded its NCAA Corporate Partner agreement through 2016.

The leading North American chocolate company said it extended its NCAA Corporate Partner agreement with CBS Sports and Turner Sports and signed a new sponsorship deal with IMG College that will give the company a larger presence within collegiate sports.

"This is an especially exciting time for Hershey as we not only extend our role as part of a prestigious group of NCAA partners, but also expand our presence within the collegiate realm through our partnership with IMG College," said Dan Vucovich, SVP and president, United States, The Hershey Company. "The devotion, loyalty and tremendous following fans have for their respective NCAA teams mirrors the passion and desire people have for our iconic Reese’s candy, making the NCAA, Turner Sports, CBS Sports and IMG ideal partners to collaborate with and successfully market our full line of products."

As part of the NCAA renewal with Turner Sports and CBS Sports, Hershey has access to marketing rights across all 89 NCAA championships, including continued title sponsorship for its Reese’s College All-Star Game during the NCAA Men’s Final Four Weekend, which will be broadcast on CBS and title sponsorship of Reese’s Final Four Friday. As the official candy partner of the NCAA, Hershey will also continue to designate its Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups as the NCAA's Official Candy. Hershey will also support the partnership with integrated marketing programs, promotional campaigns, activation platforms, social and digital media and advertising across a variety of mediums at the national, regional and local levels.

Further expanding Hershey’s presence within the college sports landscape, the company’s new partner agreement with IMG College provides the Reese’s brand collective and individual rights at 49 universities across the country for all intercollegiate athletics, as well as designation as the "Official Candy" at each of the respective athletic programs. In addition, this new sponsorship grants the Reese’s brand with key media opportunities including radio advertising in school football radio broadcasts, promotional use of trademarks and logos and digital and social media rights.

"We are very excited to partner with Hershey over the next four years as it works to expand its presence in collegiate sports," said Roger VanDerSnick, chief sales and marketing officer with IMG College. "Tapping into IMG’s national collegiate platform, Hershey gains the flexibility to utilize each school’s intellectual property to create customized retail promotions in each market, which will help differentiate the brand and drive overall awareness."

With revenues of nearly $6 billion, Hershey offers confectionery products under more than 25 brand names, including Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's Bliss, Hershey's Special Dark, Kit Kat, Twizzlers, and Ice Breakers.