“Go Tigers”

By Staff

Athletic Management, 15.4, June/July 2003, http://www.momentummedia.com/articles/am/am1504/wutigers.htm

If the way to fans’ hearts is through their stomachs, the University of Missouri hit on a perfect promotional strategy this spring when it put Tiger Tracks ice cream in local supermarkets just in time for March Madness. The ice cream (a blend of vanilla fudge swirl ice cream, cookie crumbles, and chocolate truffles) is a unique way to get people to think about Mizzou athletics, says Frank Cuervo, the department’s Director of Sports Marketing and Promotions.

“You certainly don’t expect to be in the frozen food section and encounter Truman the Tiger, so this is a way to really get people’s attention,” Cuervo says.

Missouri’s partner in the promotion, Central Dairy, took 12 months to come up with the exact flavor that said, “Go, Tigers!” and another year to put its stamp of approval on the product’s packaging. Athletic administrators were responsible for working out the licensing details and an outside firm put together a marketing campaign that appears on television, radio, and billboards. The Mizzou mascot, Truman the Tiger, shows up in the ads alongside a tiger-striped cow that says “MU.”

The University of Missouri will benefit financially from Tiger Tracks through the licensing fee they collected from Central Dairy and royalties of between five and eight percent on each $3.50 carton sold. “This ice cream may not make athletics rich,” says Senior Associate Athletic Director Mario Moccia. “But when mom and dad and the kids are in the grocery store, they’re going to be reminded of Mizzou athletics. And we’re hoping that will make them think, ‘We should go see a game soon.’”