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Kraft Foods is looking for a big score for a relatively small investment with its sponsorship of USA Basketball, leveraging the promotion across 15 brands.

The USA Basketball sponsorship, estimated at $5 million, includes the men's Dream Team as well as the Women's Team; the company also sponsored the '92 USA Basketball team.


"There's an overall theme in how we are leveraging the sponsorship in that all the brands are focusing in on value-added offers in-pack or through mail," said Robert Hopton, director-marketing strategy and development.

Kraft's investment in the promotion, which Mr. Hopton called "substantial," is dwarfed by General Mills' $100 million in spending as an Olympics sponsor for its cereals (AA, April 1).

Kraft's sports marketing agency, Capital Sports, Stamford, Conn., developed and coordinated the promotion for the brands, which include Jell-O, Tombstone pizza, Post cereals, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Oscar Mayer Foods.


For Post, the company is giving away in-pack premiums in kids' cereals such as Honeycomb and Alpha-Bits; the items include custom posters and doorknob hangers with Dream Team imagery.

The adult cereals carry on-pack offers to send away for USA Basketball caps or T-shirts with proof-of-purchase.

Post, moreover, will use supermarket sampling to nationally distribute an "Inside Stuff" brochure on the Games.

Kraft's packaged dinners will invite kids to send in for a Dream Team pen featuring the company's Cheeseasaurus Rex in USA Basketball togs. More upscale dinners such as Velveeta Shells & Cheese will offer premiums such as T-shirts, caps and a Dream Team watch with proof-of-purchase.


Perhaps the biggest effort will be for Oscar Mayer, offering consumers the ability to win a $100,000 college scholarship by taking a lucky "Dream Shot" during the warmup for the four exhibition games preceding the Olympics in July.

Winners finding a lucky game piece in their Oscar Mayer purchase win their shot at the scholarship.

Jell-O puddings and gelatins will include temporary tattoos for children featuring basketball players, including the Chicago Bulls' Dennis Rodman.

For adults, Jell-O is sampling its products at Women's Team games and sponsoring an official Game Day Program with USA Basketball that can be obtained at the competition or through the mail.

Tombstone will offer an opportunity to win a Huffy basketball backboard as well as other basketball-related merchandise in an instant win promotion.

Mr. Hopton said the brands won't use specific USA Basketball advertising but that Kraft has bought time on the exhibition games.

Post and Jell-O are considering adding tags to their advertising mentioning the sponsorship, he said.

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