I‘m a big NFL football fan and while watching Monday Night Football tonight, I watched an odd bit of product placement/marketing. Marshawn Lynch, running back for the Seattle Seahawks scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory and after he did candy Skittles rained down on him in the endzone from the fans. The camera showed fans celebrating, many waving homemade signs that said “Feed The Beast” and had Skittles wrappers on them. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. One Google search later, I had the story.
It turns out Marshawn Lynch loves Skittles. It’s his favorite snack and ever since he was little his mom has been giving him Skittles before his football games. Now he celebrates his touchdowns by grabbing a handfull of Skittles on the sidelines after he scores. The story got legs after week 13 of the season when the Seahawks destroyed the Philadelphia Eagles and Lynch had a monster game. The cameras clearly caught him eating Skittles after his first quarter touchdown. Soon after the game, Skittles jumped on the opportunity and offered Lynch a two years supply of the candy and a custom dispenser for his locker. I can’t wait for the offseason Skittles ads featuring Lynch.
This is one of those great marketing moments. It’s nothing you could ever plan for or expect, but good on Skittles for being on the ball enough to quickly capture the opportunity. “Feed the Beast” is the Skittles marketing slogan and now it’s also the nickname for the Seahawks big time running back. In business, sometimes you have to be good and sometimes you just get really lucky.