CHICAGO — Convenience store mainstays are awarding college basketball fans for their madness this month.
Miller Lite is teaming up with former college basketball star Jamal Mashburn to help fans elevate their at-home viewing experience of the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament by rewarding Miller Lite classic coolers to fans — one for every game of the tournament.
"The tournament provides the ultimate opportunity for guys to unplug and hang out with their friends," said Ryan Reis, senior director of marketing for Miller Lite. "And to us, nothing says 'Miller Time' more than March hoops and Miller Lite."
Legal-drinking-age fans must follow @MillerLite on Twitter and tweet #MLHoopsEntry and #ItsMillerTime between now and April 6 for a chance to own one of the timeless coolers. The giveaway is just one of the ways Miller Lite is rewarding its fans throughout the year.
"March Madness will always have a special place in my heart even if my game day routine is a little different these days," Mashburn said. "Now I just make sure my bracket is in good shape and there is plenty of Miller Lite on hand for when my friends come over for tip-off."
A tournament veteran, Mashburn led Kentucky to back-to-back appearances and one trip to the national semi-final in Minneapolis. He was awarded Associated Press All-American honors during the 1992-93 season before being selected as the fourth pick in the 1993 draft.
Oberto Brands is also embracing the madness this month with the launch of its multimillion-dollar spring marketing campaign.
The blitz starts with the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, which brings 64 college basketball teams together to see which team is the last one standing.
Capitalizing on the popularity of the three-week tournament, Oberto has teamed with Dick Vitale, well-known college basketball broadcaster, for a series of on-and-off air marketing activations.
Vitale is the latest celebrity to star in Oberto's "Little Voice In the Stomach" TV spots, which are just the beginning of the Oberto/Vitale campaign. The marketing program also features the "Win a VIP Trip With Dick Vitale" promotion. To enter, consumers need to upload their best 15-second or less Dickie V impression. The winner will receive an all-expense paid VIP trip for four to meet Vitale.
New point-of-sale displays featuring Vitale's image will hit retail and call out details of the contest. On the digital front, Oberto is focusing its efforts on top trafficked college sports sites, ESPN.com and CampusInsiders.com.
In other marketing moves, Oberto will launch a multi-tiered effort as the Official Beef Jerky of Tough Mudder for the second year. Oberto has enlisted 2014 World's Toughest Mudder Champions Amelia Boone and Ryan Atkins, who will appear in "Little Voice In The Stomach" spots.
In addition, on site at all U.S. and Canadian 2015 Tough Mudder events will be an all-new obstacle: The Oberto Beef Jerky "Beached Whale." Participants will need to protein up to conquer the Oberto Beef Jerky "Beached Whale," an inflatable that will require team members to help each other to successfully scale the challenge.
Oberto will also implement on-site sampling and fan engagement activities at each event. The "Beached Whale" made its first appearance at the Gulf Coast event in Florida this past weekend.