IRONMAN & MilkPEP Sponsorship

The “got chocolate milk” campaign from U.S. milk industry marketer, MilkPEP, boosted the appeal of the drink across the world of endurance sports. The four-year IRONMAN sponsorship took centre stage to a wider strategy and helped re-position chocolate milk as an athlete’s top beverage of choice for recovery and refueling.

Building the bridge between chocolate milk and sports

In 2012, Infront Sports & Media secured the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) for a several-year sponsorship of the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 series. The partnership was part of a broader campaign across endurance events, which saw MilkPEP drive consumption of low fat chocolate milk after strenuous exercise. They sought to change the perception of chocolate milk – from a sweet, fattening beverage, to a healthy and effective option for refuelling your body after exercise.

Leveraging the credibility of the ultimate endurance event

Infront set up a flexible and multi-dimensional partnership that allowed MilkPEP to activate their strategy across all IRONMAN platforms, maximising owned, earned and bought media. The IRONMAN platform gave MilkPEP effective promotional opportunities at all races throughout the United States as well as extensive engagement platforms. Involvement went far beyond an advertising presence, as the organization engaged with the competition and its participants - with athletes on-site, demonstrating how the low fat chocolate milk helped them to recover post-race in the Official “REFUEL Zone”. In addition, MilkPEP worked with local distributors to make low fat chocolate milk available at the finish lines of select IRONMAN events. Overall, the partnership served as a platform for radio and TV interviews, a YouTube video series, on-package branding, and celebrity endorsements, while driving retail and social media traffic.


  • The broad campaign re-positioned chocolate milk as a recovery beverage, leveraging the credibility of IRONMAN and its health-conscious image
  • The IRONMAN platform provided extensive onsite activation at events, resulting in close interaction with athletes and spectators
  • With IRONMAN sponsorship as a pillar in the broader MilkPEP campaign, chocolate milk sales were up 3 percent at the end of 2013

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