Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Athletics Canada Partners With Hershey's to Market Candy to Kids

Yes, those are Hershey's Kisses and yes, Hershey's has just deepened their pre-existing partnership with Athletics Canada, Canada's national governing body for track and field, cross country, road running and road racing, in order to target children with their now co-branded Run Jump Throw program.

Gord Orlikow, Athletics Canada Board Chair, had this to say about Athletics Canada's partnership with the candy giant,
"We are ecstatic to have Hershey on board to work together in attaining our mutual objective of getting Canadian kids active and providing them with a sound foundation for a lifetime of physical activity. This game changing partnership will position Run Jump Throw as an entryway to sport and recreation through a try track concept, positively affecting the youth of this country from coast to coast."
What Mr. Orlikow didn't mention is that partnerships by definition always benefit both parties. In this instance, Athletics Canada's partnership with Hershey's, while perhaps spreading the Run Jump Throw program, will simultaneously provide Hershey's with an emotional branding opportunity worth an absolute fortune as Run Jump Throw reaches 100,000 kids a year and no doubt generates tremendous goodwill, pride, excitement and pure joy. It will also provide Hershey's the opportunity to target the children directly, and here I'm talking about marketing that extends far beyond the kids' new roles as running, jumping, throwing Hershey's Kisses billboards.

Don't believe me? Here are some snapshots of how Hershey's uses their similar and longstanding Hershey Track and Field Games (of which Athletics Canada is also a proud supporter and partner) to prey on children: