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Growing trust through NIL and sports team fan bases

January 9, 2024


3 minute read

Midwest Dairy works with and through partners to reach Gen Z and build their trust in dairy and how it is produced. To do this, the checkoff is utilizing Name Image Likeness (NIL) partners and other sports teams, allowing Midwest Dairy to reach a large Gen Z audience who is already committed to that fan base or athlete. We are working hard to shine a spotlight on how these individual athletes and programs can highlight dairy in an organic way that makes sense for their platform. Keep reading to learn more.   


Omaha Biliew, a star basketball athlete at Iowa State University, partnered with Midwest Dairy on a social campaign series in December 2023. The partnership included six social Instagram activations with a combination of stories and posts. In these posts, Biliew shared how dairy plays a role in his training and recovery as an athlete and helped his 30,000 followers see dairy’s crucial role in sustainable nutrition. This campaign brought the dairy story to 87,021 consumers. 

South Dakota

Through a partnership with student-athlete Charlie Easley and South Dakota State University (SDSU) Athletics, a radio interview aired at halftime of the SDSU Dairy Drive men’s basketball game in January that featured Easley sharing why he refuels with chocolate milk and how he uses dairy to support his performance. Midwest Dairy also partnered with the SDSU Dairy Club, where student volunteers engaged with game attendees via dairy trivia, and participants could earn a complimentary ice cream coupon. The SDSU Jackrabbits defeated the Omaha Mavericks that night, and the game hosted over 2,800 attendees who interacted with messaging on dairy’s nutrition and sustainability story.

Omaha Biliew basketball player


Midwest Dairy closed out 2023 by partnering with the University of Minnesota Athletic program. In the past, Midwest Dairy has partnered with the Celebrate Ag and Food Day and, in 2023, extended this partnership to be seen during the football games. Celebrate Ag and Food Day features Minnesota-based companies and organizations in connection with the University. The Undeniably Dairy logo was featured on the digital scoreboard, the crowd enjoyed Ag Day Fun Facts on the video board, and the Gopher Radio Network advertisements were promoted. Messaging featured dairy’s sustainability story. The Gopher win over Eastern Michigan allowed dairy messaging to reach nearly 50,000 fans in attendance.

Midwest Dairy also sponsored the “Point U Drummer” for the Gophers Volleyball program as checkoff connected with women’s athletics on campus through the successful 2023 volleyball team. For each of the 12 home matches, one of the fans was selected as the Point U Drummer and played the bass drum after the Gophers volleyball team scored their first point of the match. The drummers were featured on the videoboards as well as all the Gopher Volleyball social media channels. Fans could win co-branded “We Dig Dairy” t-shirts, and dairy sustainability messaging was used during the matches. The total reach for the season included over 56,000 fans who attended the regular season home games, as well as additional social media reach.