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Athletes Looking To Get "Caught" In The Oreo Cookie Jar?

Oreo advertisement with Serena Williams
Source: NY Post
Oreo advertisement with Serena Williams



If the rule of endorsements includes staying away from the cover of Madden to avoid the jinx, it should now include getting paid to dunk (or should I say lick?) an Oreo.

Late last year, Kraft'sNabisco cookie brand Oreo launched it's Double Stuf Racing League spots with defending Super Bowl champion MVP Peyton Manning and his brother Eli. Eli and the New York Giants proceeded to beat the previously undefeated New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl and the folks running things for Oreo looked brilliant.

Oreo is in the right place again with their latest endorsees--tennis sisters Venus and Serena Williams became the latest to endorse the brand. And the Oreo endorsement might have been the perfect formula to give Serena Williams the boost to win the U.S. Open title on Sunday, matching her sister's win at Wimbledon earlier this year.

I spoke with Stephen Chriss, director of consumer promotions at Kraft, to talk about the Double Stuf luck.

Darren: Are the Peyton-Eli, Venus-Serena endorsements good fortune, good scouting, or both?

Stephen: Both. Good scouting and then we captured lightning in a bottle. We also have some good odds as Peyton, Eli, Venus and Serena are at the top of their games. We could not be more excited and proud to be associated with world class athletes.

Darren: Who were you looking for in endorsers? Did it have to be athlete siblings or it just manifested itself that way?

Stephen: We started with the Mannings as they are the first family of football and what better fit than with the number one cookie brand that is all about bringing families together behind the ritual of eating Oreo (twist, lick and dunking in milk.) as our vision is about bringing consumers and primarily families together around that Oreo moment that we have all experienced. We have been partnering with the Mannings for a few years and we've had tremendous success with them. As our Double Stuf Racing League story continues to unfold, the Williams sisters were a logical next chapter to our story and "league."

Darren: What does it mean for the campaign to have champions immediately after you launched?

Stephen: We are thrilled with out campaign either way, but make no mistake that the Mannings and the Williams' success has done nothing but fuel the buzz and excitement of the DRSL campaign.

Darren: Do you think athletes are going to beg for the Double Stuf Racing League endorsement to turn around their fortunes?

Stephen: One never knows. We are currently considering our next chapters and our doors, phones and e-mails are open to who wants in.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com