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Coors Light taps SMS in NFL Draft sponsorship

Coors Light launched a mobile text message component to its traditional sponsorship of the NFL Draft.

The brewer intended the text message element of the integrated campaign to lend more interactivity to its ads. Football fans were asked to opt in to receive draft alerts for messages containing snippets of information about Coors Light.

"Coors Light has been a long-time presenting sponsor of the NFL Draft and we wanted to take that alliance to the next level," said Jenny Volanakis, a Coors Light spokeswoman in New York. "As the official beer sponsor of the NFL, we wanted to give fans the opportunity to stay up-to-date with their team's draft picks via their mobile phone."

The initiative is part of a campaign that extends into different marketing mediums to promote the cold-activated feature on Coors Light beer bottles. The mountains on the labels turn from white to blue when the beer is cold enough to drink.

Draftfcb Chicago was the agency that handled the text-messaging element of the campaign.

Participation is simple. Users opted in by texting "Coorslight" to the 44636 short code. They received a response message to confirm that they were over 21 years of age and would like to receive updates.

Upon verifying age and acknowledging the request for updates, users were sent a response message thanking them for subscribing. At that point they receive a staggered series of 31 text messages -- one for each draft pick from every NFL team.

"Immediacy is important to sports fans and implementing this program via mobile is a fast, effective way to keep NFL fans connected," Ms. Volanakis said. "The response from consumers has been very positive."

The multichannel campaign also had television and online components.

The TV spot was created by Draftfcb as well, showing a man in a bar sending "Code blue" text messages to his friends. His friends become curious as to why he is signaling them. So they find him in a bar excited to share the new cold-activated bottles of Coors Light.

Avenue A/Razorfish and the Integer Group helped implement aspects of the campaign.

Coors also launched a user-generated content contest asking consumers to design video clips and post them to a Web site to win prizes. This leg of the campaign is current. Consumers age 21 and up on Facebook can send friends Code blue alerts on Facebook, inviting them to meet up for a beer.

"As the official beer sponsor of the NFL, Coors Light is constantly looking for new ways to satisfy football fans' thirst for football," Ms. Volanakis said. "We feel that this was a successful program and something that could be implemented in the future."