Aug 16, 2013

How to market popcorn to the football crowd

Tony Treadway

We are working with Old Mill Kettle Corn on a campaign to exploit the passion of college football fans. The kettle corn company has licensed seven college teams to produce bags of the sweet treat to millions of football fans this season.

From the Florida Gators to the Tennessee Volunteers (and the Georgia Bulldogs and Clemson Tigers in between) we have just a few months to sell about a million bags of kettle corn to fans with an affinity for big time football.

We’re partnering with IMG, the college marketing organization that controls the broadcasts for the team’s radio networks, to place radio commercials in pre-game and in-game mentions along with on-site samples. Fans will be able to purchase bags of team popcorn at concession stands and campus bookstores. We’ll likewise have mentions on team social media sites to build awareness and sales during the season.

We’re leveraging that awareness with a sweepstakes for each team’s fans that will see one fan from each college team get a once-in-a-lifetime experience before the game by being able to be on the field during pre-game warm ups. We’re doing so by constructing seven websites and seven social media sites that we will manage to maintain the buzz.

But we are doing more than traditional and new media marketing. We’re helping Old Mill’s sales team identify and sell in the product to retailers who have yet to agree to stock the items in their stores. Recently, we identified regional Wal-Mart store distribution as an opportunity and Old Mill scored with a win. Convenience stores were another target identified by us and we’re close to securing distribution within several chains in the south. We’re also developing marketing plans for each of the team’s core fan base regions that will be heavily weighted with public relations.

If you listen to sports talk radio in the south this fall and hear the hosts munching on Gator Corn or Big Orange Popcorn as they rant about last Saturday’s game, you’ll know that part of the ingredient to the success of college popcorn is Creative Energy.

Visit each of the contest pages at

Tony Treadway


President & CEO

Regarded in the advertising and PR industry as a top strategist, Tony is considered one of the most respected marketing minds in the business, especially in the $600 billion foodservice industry. As president, he leads Creative Energy in serving a variety of regional and national accounts in the textile, hardware, building materials, electronics, nuclear power and health care markets.