Marshawn Lynch for years has given Skittles free publicity through his love for the brand. But it took a Super Bowl appearance for the Seattle Seahawks star to cash in on his obsession.
The Wrigley-owned brand on Tuesday announced a deal with the running back in which it will create a limited-edition "Seattle Mix," with packs featuring the Seahawks' blue and green colors, to give away in Seattle. They won't be for sale in stores nationwide but fans can also bid on three packs of Seattle Mix at an online auction beginning Wednesday at www.SkittlesSeattleMix.com.
Proceeds from the auction will benefit Mr. Lynch's Fam 1st Family Foundation, which will also get $10,000 from Skittles for every touchdown Mr. Lynch scores. The auction will also include "one-of-a-kind football-inspired Skittles-covered items," according to Wrigley, such as a football and helmet.
There are no TV ads planned. Agencies working on the deal include Olson for PR and Kaleidoscope for packaging. Wrigley did not disclose financial terms of the deal. ESPN.com, which first reported the pact this morning, said Mr. Lynch "will receive financial compensation," citing unnamed sources.
"The unfolding love story between Marshawn, his fans and Skittles has been an incredible and well-documented ride," Wrigley said in a statement to Ad Age. "We're thrilled to have a deal in place with Marshawn."
Mr. Lynch's affinity for Skittles began when his mother, Delisa Lynch, brought the candies to his youth football games. "I would give him a handful of Skittles and say, 'Eat 'em up, baby. They're going to make you run fast and they're going to make you play good,'" Ms. Lynch said in a 2012 interview with Seahawks.com.
Earlier this month, Ad Age reported that the free exposure Mr. Lynch would give Skittles during a Super Bowl appearance could be worth up to $5 million, according to Kantar Media. The calculation was based on factors including camera time and mentions of Skittles by broadcasters.
The deal announced today is Mr. Lynch's first official endorsement of the brand. In 2011 he agreed to accept free product and a gift of a Skittles covered helmet and branded locker dispenser, according to a Wrigley spokesman.