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Going Nuts: Fisher Attempts Grand Slam With Baseball Sweepstakes

Season-long campaign to launch at today's spring training game

White Sox manager Robin Ventura, Brendan Honan of John B. Sanfilippo & Son & Cubs manager Dale Sveum at today's press conference

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Cracker Jack—a popular ballgame nibble mythologized alongside peanuts in the iconic baseball anthem—may soon need a few home runs to maintain its position as a preferred stadium snack. Fisher Nuts is looking at a kernel of a lead, thanks to a new sweepstakes and integrated campaign starting this afternoon at the Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox spring training game in Arizona.

Howard Brandeisky of Fisher Nuts' parent company, John B. Sanfilippo & Son, told Adweek while his company is "nuts about nuts" and "nuts about baseball," he sees no need for crunchy combat. "We're as much a part of the baseball tradition as Cracker Jacks are, but I think there's room for both of us on the shelf," said Brandeisky, vp of global marketing, innovation and customer solutions.

The sweepstakes' two grand prize winners will get a party for 20, game tickets and meet and greets with the teams’ respective managers.

First prizes are two sets of four tickets to a Cubs or Sox game, including the chance to watch the pregame batting practice, and tickets to a game and the chance for the winner's name to appear on the scoreboard during the game. Smaller prizes include gift cards and Fisher Nuts products.

Chicago's peanut and baseball fans will have chances to win the prizes throughout the season. When both ball clubs win games on the same day, Fisher Nuts will donate $500 to the teams’ charities.

John B. Sanfilippo & Son is partnering with supermarket chain Jewel-Osco and its agency, Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide, to manage the integrated campaign, which allows sweepstakes entry via advertisements with tear pads and shippers. Consumers who use a Jewel Preferred Customer Card to buy Fisher Nuts will be automatically entered in the contest. The campaign will also include in-game drop-in spots during Cubs TV and radio broadcasts and 60-second radio commercials. Fisher Nuts said it expects the campaign to yield more than 75 million in-store and out-of-home ad impressions.

Brandeisky wouldn't reveal the company's ad spend for this campaign, but said an ongoing sponsorship of the two ball clubs made it a natural fit. "We were looking for a more creative way to leverage these sponsorships," he said. "We were inspired that [both teams] are getting a fresh start with new managers."

Brandeisky said the goal of the campaign is to "have some fun, get consumers talking about the brand and build brand equity. I think integrated promotions like this help us break through the clutter."