Hershey announces partnership with USA Gymnastics and Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller

hershey co-kiss-USAGym-PartnerHershey, PA / TSBX News / – The Hershey Company and its flagship brand, Hershey’s, today announced its two-year partnership with USA Gymnastics as the exclusive confectionery sponsor through 2017. Hershey also proudly welcomed Shannon Miller, the most decorated American gymnast in history and two-time Olympic gold medalist, to be a part of the Hershey family and serve as a brand ambassador through the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The relationship with the Olympic sport’s U.S national governing body and the gymnastics legend is effective immediately.


As an official sponsor of USA Gymnastics, Hershey’s, America’s iconic chocolate bar, will bring moments of goodness and patriotic pride to consumers, athletes and fans while elevating the passion for the sport nationwide. Hershey’s will be the presenting sponsor of 2016 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships and serve as a key sponsor of the 2016 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions, conducted by USA Gymnastics following the 2016 Olympic Games.


Hershey’s is honored and proud to partner with USA Gymnastics and work with the legendary Shannon Miller and its all-star athletes to promote this beloved sport and connect with all the passionate fans across the country,” said Stacie Stauffer, Senior Brand Manager, Hershey’s. “Through our partnership, we will continue to celebrate our commitment to the sport, Team USA and the Olympic Movement.”


“We are proud to welcome the iconic Hershey brand to the USA Gymnastics partner family,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “The Hershey Company will play an integral role in helping us connect with fans and bring them closer to the U.S. Gymnastics National Team while our athletes compete during the Countdown to Rio and beyond.”


7068Through the USA Gymnastics partnership, the Hershey’s brand will have the ability to continue to spread the news of their new campaign, “Hello Happy. Hello Hershey’s,” that debuted in early February 2016.  The new campaign will integrate Hershey’s partnerships with USA Gymnastics, Miller and the United States Olympic Committee through several special events, activities and media opportunities.


“Competing at the Olympic Games was a dream come true, and I am proud to have the opportunity to work with Hershey, a company that epitomizes the American dream,” said 7-time Olympic medalist and gymnastics icon Shannon Miller. “Together, we can spread a passion for the sport and celebrate our patriotic pride with athletes, fans and consumers around the country.”


The announcement builds off an exciting win: The Hershey Company has joined forces with the United States Olympic Committee, and will support the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams through the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Through this partnership, The Hershey Company will serve as an official sponsor of Team USA.



Anthony Davis Will Tip Off With H&R Block This Tax Season

H&R Block, the world’s largest consumer tax services provider, announced earlier this week that two-time NBA All-Star Anthony Davis will serve as a brand ambassador for its upcoming tax season.


H&R Block is the NBA’s tax services partner and will feature Davis alongside the brand’s bow-tie wearing tax pro Richard Gartland in its 2016 advertising.  Davis will make a cameo in commercials beginning mid-January, and then will star in spots set to air in February. This partnership marks the first time the brand has used a sports personality in a national campaign.


“We’re excited to partner with a dominant player like Anthony for Refund Season,” said Kathy Collins, H&R Block’s chief marketing officer. “We’re so impressed with his determination and commitment to the community. Anthony has a lot of qualities our clients can relate to – even if his first job out of college has far more complex tax implications than most of ours.”


In addition to advertising, H&R Block will leverage Davis for personal appearances throughout the season and partner with his charity, AD’s Flight Academy, for outreach and events in the local New Orleans community.


“Being part of a strong team is very important to me and H&R Block is the best team to have your back during tax time,” said Davis.


Davis and Gartland shot the series of advertisements earlier this month in New Orleans.


According to the Sports Business Journal, H&R Block’s deal with the NBA is the company’s first professional sports league sponsorship.


About H&R Block

H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world’s largest consumer tax services provider. More than 680 million tax returns have been prepared worldwide by and through H&R Block since 1955. In fiscal 2015, H&R Block had annual revenues of nearly $3.1 billion with 24.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom at http://newsroom.hrblock.com/.

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Athlete-CEOs Turning To Crowdfunding for New Sponsorship and Revenue Opportunities

logoFrenchToday’s guest post is by Loic Yviquel. Lois is the Founder and CEO of Sponsorise.me, a crowdfunding site dedicated to sports projects.


We’re in an era where athletes and entertainers are more than just performers. Jay Z famously said, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.” Indeed, he, his wife Beyonce, the Kardashians… they have transcended celebrity to become something more. Similarly, athletes such as LeBron James or Peyton Manning, great players who are almost as well known away from sporting competition, have a different perspective on their careers. They are managing their brands and operate more like CEOs than mere players of basketball or football.


But of course LeBron and Peyton are the exception to the rules. Most athletes don’t command vast financial empires or operate multi-media brand extensions. But there are in fact many athletes, perhaps the majority of top tier athletes, who are a new breed of Athlete-CEO. For every Major League Baseball or NBA player with a guaranteed contract, there are hundreds of professional golfers, surfers, tennis players or extreme sports athletes who rise to the top level in their fields and must deal with the often astonishing costs associated with achieving, or even striving for, success.


Professional Beach Volleyball players Trevor and Taylor Crabb are a perfect example. A relatively new team on the AVP tour, the Crabb brothers have quickly made a name for themselves with some impressive wins. Playing volleyball on the beach sounds like a dream come true for most people, but the reality can be quite different. Travel, tournament entry fees, training, preventative and rehabilitation healthcare costs are just some of the financial issues the brothers have to deal with. All this requires many of today’s professional athlete to be not just masters of their sports, but have advanced economic degrees as well.


Many athletes, including the Crabb brothers, as well as Olympic gold medallist Kaitlyn Farrington and 2016 Rio Olympic hopefuls Sydney Bolger and Carly Shevitz, are exploring the idea of crowdfunding to help them reach their sporting goals.  I created Sponsorise.me so that athletes of all abilities can take a degree of control over their financial situation, rather than be completely beholden to the whims of traditional sponsors, and at the same time tap into their loyal fan base. Sponsorise.me crowdfunding projects let athletes and fans develop a more authentic and relevant connection while generating needed funds for the modern Athlete-CEO.


Athletes leveraging crowdfunding is another example of how the modern athlete is “owning their narrative” in ways previously unattainable. Social media allows them to connect directly with fans or broadcast news without the ‘filter’ of traditional media. Technology has not only reduced the distance between athletes and fans, it has changed the nature of the relationship. Crowdfunding makes the athlete and fan closer to partners with a shared goal.


Crowdfunding isn’t going to do away with more traditional sports sponsorship. Nike and adidas will still pay for the privilege of having members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team wear their cleats, but for the growing population of Athlete-CEOs, crowdfunding offers a compelling new alternative.

Hyundai Signs Four-Year Deal With the NFL, Replaces GM as Become Official Automotive Sponsor

Hyundai NFL 562x325
In its latest sports marketing venture, Hyundai is now an official automotive sponsor of the National Football League. The NFL has the largest and most avid fan base among U.S. sports, and Hyundai will soon connect this passion with the enthusiasm Hyundai owners have for their vehicles.

“We are huge football fans at Hyundai and feel there is no better venue to reach consumers, increase consideration and tell the Hyundai brand story,” said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. “We can’t wait to show the NFL’s 188 million fans the great design, advanced technologies, dynamic performance and numerous safety features within the Hyundai lineup. The NFL and Hyundai also share a commitment to helping the communities where we do business, another important aspect of our sponsorship.”

Hyundai NFL 300x293 As part of the new sponsorship, Hyundai will have use of NFL trademarks across various marketing channels, including branded content, advertising and promotional materials. The NFL has become a year-round sport and Hyundai will have access to some of the biggest events on the calendar, such as the Super Bowl, NFL Combine, NFL Draft, NFL Kickoff and NFL Playoffs. Hyundai will also provide promotional vehicles at the Super Bowl and other events throughout the year.

“We are pleased to welcome Hyundai to our family of sponsors,” said Renie Anderson, the NFL’s senior vice president of sponsorship. “We appreciate Hyundai’s enthusiasm as we work together to reach our fans with innovative programs during our season and with our major calendar events throughout the year.”

As NFL fans everywhere celebrate the start of the new season, Hyundai will launch its activation with a major presence during NFL Kickoff activities on Sept. 10.


Sponsors Line Up For 50th Head Of The Charles Regatta

A staple on the New England calendar, the Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR) will celebrate its 50th rowing this fall.  The 2014 event is scheduled for the weekend of October 18 & 19 and features new sponsor Victorinox Swiss Army.

Victorinox VSA_Logo“We are delighted to welcome Victorinox Swiss Army into the Head Of The Charles family, especially in our milestone year,” said HOCR Executive Director Fred Schoch.  “The Regatta is a cherished Boston tradition, and our partnership with a storied brand such as Victorinox will only enhance the historic nature of this event.”

The world’s largest and most prestigious regatta was established in 1965 and continues to bring the best crew teams to Boston’s Charles River for the ultimate two-day rowing competition along the three-mile course.  With the race’s bi-centennial expected to attract 11,000 world-class rowing competitors and over 400,000 spectators, Victorinox will use this opportunity to bring awareness to its enhanced collection.  The plan: create pop-up retail shops at the HOCR Rowing & Fitness Expo, with special offers on personalized Swiss Army knives, wrist watches, luggage and fragrances.  The company, known primarily for its iconic pocket knives and cutlery, looks to change its image as it has been named the “official timepiece and travel gear sponsor.”  This comes at an opportune time as Victorinox Swiss Army celebrates its own 130th anniversary.

The presenting sponsor of this year’s Head of the Charles Regatta is BNY Mellon.  Other current sponsors on the line-up include data storage giant EMC Corp., and luxury brands Brooks Brothers, Land Rover, New Balance, and Sperry Topsider.

Planned commemorative events include a 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner, a documentary showcase, and a historical exhibit.  The Regatta will run on both Saturday and Sunday from 8AM – 5PM, and admission is free.

To learn more about the Head of the Charles and the full event line-up, check out the official website and follow HOCR on Twitter and Facebook.


(Photo: hocr.tumblr.com)