In early November, the American Dairy Association North East joined forces with the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) to support 3,543 women from 46 states who joined #TeamMilk to run the New York City Marathon. By signing up for #TeamMilk, runners were reminded that “You’re Gonna Need Milk for That” and scored #TeamMilk gear, a free stretching session, a photo opportunity that showed them on NYC bus stops and billboards in real time, and a ticket to the Chocolate Milk Recovery Lounge.
What exactly was the Chocolate Milk Recovery Lounge? Aside from offering a clean space to relax after their 26.2 mile run and meet friends and family, we offered chocolate milk to the runners, of course! Chocolate milk is the perfect sports refueling beverage with its golden ratio of carbs to protein that helps rehydrate bodies, repair muscles, and replenish energy after exercising.
But the runners weren’t given just any chocolate milk. MilkPEP asked King Brothers Dairy in Schuylerville, N.Y., to develop a special label for 5,000 bottles of their 1% chocolate milk for the runners’ recovery. Jan and Pandora King joined runners in the lounge area to help them refuel and to celebrate their achievements.
Additionally, just before the 24th mile of the run, a notoriously tough part of the course, #TeamMilk had a cheer tunnel to boost its athletes with signs, cowbells, and a promise of free chocolate milk at the end of the race.
We worked with local media to pitch the #TeamMilk story, and this resulted in extensive coverage from six different news outlets. In addition, we placed media stories on lifestyle shows featuring registered dietitian and runner Stevie Lyn Smith promoting the campaign and providing nutrition tips to runners backing chocolate milk as an ideal recovery beverage. The efforts resulted in 27 news placements, 230,000 traditional news impressions, and 3.4 million online impressions.
To add to the excitement, MilkPEP matched the registration fees of those who signed up for #TeamMilk to support Girls on the Run, a national grassroots organization that empowers adolescent girls to be active and stay healthy. MilkPEP was able to present more than $600,000 to the organization to support the program.
Jean Kummer is the industry communications specialist for American Dairy Association North East.