Looking to position Nesquik as a post-exercise drink, Nestlé USA has expanded its sponsorship portfolio with new ties in pro sports and youth soccer.  

The beverage company this year has signed new deals with US Youth Soccer, the American Youth Soccer Organization and the NBA Boston Celtics. The company last year signed new ties with the MLB New York Mets and NBA Miami Heat.

Responding to questions via email, Jared Zack, Nesquik brand marketing associate, discusses the thinking behind the sponsorships, how Nesquik is doubling down on soccer to reach parents, coaches and children, and other topics.  

Below are edited excerpts from his comments.

On using sponsorship to promote the nutritional aspects of chocolate milk
Nesquik has the ambition to be an ally when it comes to nutrition. There are many nutritional benefits to drinking chocolate milk, such as being a good source of both protein and calcium.

A lesser-known benefit of chocolate milk is its ability to assist with post-exercise recovery. The ratio of carbohydrates-to-protein, electrolytes and water in chocolate milk can help tired muscles refuel and recover in a way that many other drinks cannot. Our goal is to leverage sponsorship to bring to life in a local manner the nutritional benefits of Nesquik, all while keeping the fun equity that is associated with the brand.

On Nesquik’s target audience
Our roots lie in being a beverage that parents will give to their children, so families are a high priority. However, we find that young adults also resonate strongly with Nesquik as a nostalgic brand that brought fun to their childhood.

Additionally, we are reaching coaches along with parents through our soccer sponsorships. By partnering with entities that are local and relevant across many age groups, we feel they can reach our different target consumers.

On using soccer to promote refuel message  
Nesquik recently partnered with US Youth Soccer and AYSO. Our plan is to stay focused on our soccer partnerships (leagues, teams, and players) this year. With the growing popularity of the sport, the fact that it resonates across our multiple target audiences, and the high activity level associated with the sport all led it to be an optimal venue to showcase our refuel message.

The brand’s first partnership focused on refuel messages was in 2012 with Olympic gold medalists and world-ranked doubles team, Mike and Bob Bryan, and sponsorship of the Little Mo’ International Junior Tennis Championships at Forest Hills, NY.

How Nesquik activates sponsorship
We activate sponsorships in a range of ways depending on the type of sponsorship.

On-site presence is a very important aspect of all our sponsorships and we leverage our local presence marketing ambassador teams to continuously build out the on-site presence with clubs.

Social media and retail integration are also becoming more and more important components of our sponsorship activations.  When it comes to retail activations, they range from chain or market-wide promotions to in-store player meet and greet activations.  We always try to find creative ways to leverage assets from the clubs in our communication to drive affinity for the brand with the local shoppers.   

On working with Boys & Girls Clubs of America
We worked locally with the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and the NY Mets by hosting tournaments for youth of local Boys & Girls Clubs to help build awareness of the importance of daily physical activity and fun play.

Donations were made to the Boys & Girls Clubs to purchase sports equipment for after-school programs.

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*Sales in U.S. supermarkets, drugstores, mass merchants, military commissaries and select club and dollar store chains in the year-ended May 18, 2014, per IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm (@iriworldwide).