Kraft partners with NCAA and CBS Sports

by Eric Schroeder
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EAST HANOVER, N.J. — Kraft Foods Inc. said its U.S. Snacks business has partnered with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and CBS Sports to promote and market the NCAA and all 88 of its men’s and women’s championships on such snack brands as Planters, Ritz, Oreo and Wheat Thins.

As part of the partnership, Kraft’s brands will be featured as the NCAA’s “official” cookie, nut and cracker through in-store promotions and with a major advertising push on CBS Sports beginning this month with the network’s exclusive coverage of the “Road to the Final Four.”

“This partnership is a slam dunk for Kraft Foods,” said Stephen Chriss, senior director of marketing alliances at Kraft Foods. “It gives us an opportunity to connect our delicious snack brands with key audiences in a big way.”

Planned marketing initiatives include new product sampling, contests, promotions, and college-themed displays in retail stores.

The partnership with the NCAA is the latest in a series of strategic, sports marketing initiatives undertaken by Kraft Foods over the past several years. In addition to the NCAA, Kraft has partnered with NASCAR and the U.S. Open.

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