WNBA to Indulge Fans With Hershey Promotion

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The Women's National Basketball Association and Hershey Foods Corp. will debut a sweepstakes June 18 aimed at drawing WNBA fans to grocery stores to buy Hershey chocolate products and increasing the league's online fan base.


The sweepstakes, which will run through Aug. 10, will feature tear pads on packages of Hershey Bites. Consumers who buy two or more bags of Hershey Bites will receive one of four WNBA Fleer trading card sheets in the store of purchase. Consumers also will be able to mail in the tear pads to enter to win a basketball clinic with a WNBA player.


The WNBA will provide information about the in-store promotion on its Web site, www.wnba.com, to coincide with the promotion's launch. The Hershey Bites Web site, www.hersheybites.com, also will feature details about the promotion. The WNBA site will be listed on the tear pads.


"Hershey is trying to drive offline purchases through information and hype online," said Mary Reiling Spencer, vice president of marketing partnerships at the WNBA, New York. "The company saw value in the WNBA's demographic of women, families and kids."


She said the Hershey promotion is the WNBA's first packaged goods national promotion.


The WNBA's base of fans who attend games consists of 75 percent women, age 20 to 40, primarily with children, Spencer said. She added that its television fan base has an even male/female split, and the Web site attracts teens in addition to its hard-core live fan base.


Hershey and the WNBA are in the process of determining the national grocery chains in which the promotion will run.


Officials at Hershey Foods Corp., Hershey, PA, did not return calls.


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