Nutella Plans Big Score with Kobe Bryant

Nutella hopes to make the most of its six-figure endorsement contract with Kobe Bryant. The hazelnut spread company, based in Italy with a U.S. division located in Somerset, New Jersey, will use the Los Angeles Lakers star in promotions via magazine, online and in-store efforts over the next two years. Media will include print buys, beginning with magazine ads in October, followed by new ads in January and May.

Even though Nutella is not using TV ads, the company feels that Bryant’s name and NBA exposure will help push its product. Bryant’s face will begin to appear on Nutella product labels beginning in September. In addition, a life-size Kobe floor stand will appear in supermarkets beginning in spring 2002 in conjunction with product samplings and other in-store events.

The company is also giving away limited edition mouse pads embossed with Bryant’s image holding a jar of Nutella to tie in with a series of online promotions. “He really uses the product. It’s in the Lakers’ locker room at Staples Center,” said Gary Dees, sales and marketing for Ferrero USA, the sales division of Nutella, at the FMI Show in Chicago. “Because of that, his endorsement didn’t cost us nearly as much as other companies are paying him.”