“Milk does a body good.” This iconic slogan has reinforced the image of milk as a healthy drink for the fitness conscious consumer. But even the most successful marketing campaigns need revitalization. So this year, the U.S. Olympic Committee is launching an innovative sponsorship program with the Milk Processor Education Program, the lead American dairy products marketing group. The consumer outreach program will leverage the credibility of successful American athletes who actually drink milk as part of their fitness regimens.
This month, a model campaign featuring USA Swimming stars Jessica Hardy and Tyler Clary will start in broadcast, print and digital media. It targets a very large niche of the fitness conscious community with the slogan “Built With Chocolate Milk.” The campaign positions low-fat chocolate milk as a dependable recovery drink after exercise and sports competitions. Tyler Clary’s pitch combines credibility with sports science. “My training isn’t complete when I get out of the pool – recovery is an essential part of every workout. For years, chocolate milk has been my first choice for recovery. It tastes great after my grueling workouts and it has a carbohydrate to protein ratio to help the body recover and basically rebuild after a really hard session,” says Clary in the television version of the campaign. Jessica Hardy and Tyler Clary both competed and won one gold medal each at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. They will compete at the USA Swimming trials in Omaha this July for slots on the 2016 team.
USA Water Polo is also putting an emphasis on chocolate milk, promoted by sports nutrition experts as a good choice for recovery beverages. Since 2012, Nesquick has been the official flavored milk and recovery drink of USA Water Polo. Important caveat – this is a promotion for a non-fat dairy product.
Teamwork will add to the vitality of the milk marketing campaign. The Milk Processor Education Program is a national group in which many local dairy producers participate. The Utah-Nevada Dairy Council has been a sponsor of US Speedskating since 2013 and is a step ahead in showing what local marketing communications programs can do in advance of the next Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, Korea in 2018.
While the U.S. milk industry is far ahead in marketing milk to sports and fitness audiences, it has a long way to go to build a marketing foundation in the host countries of the next three Olympic Games where it will be sponsoring Team USA. Nestle of Switzerland and Lactel of France share the dairy products market of Brazil with smaller local producers. Seoul Dairy Cooperative dominates the Korean market for fresh milk with a 39% share of the South Korean market. Japan’s milk industry has an effective monopoly on the domestic market, where only government agencies are allowed to import milk from outside the country.