- Mtn Dew is launching a podcast about professional basketball and its players' origin stories, according to information shared with Marketing Dive in an interview. Hosted by comedian and influencer Druski, the new project will feature athletes and celebrities as guests and run from May 18 through the course of the NBA playoffs.
- "The Dew Zone with Druski" is a partnership between Mtn Dew and sports podcasting platform Blue Wire. It will be an eight- to 10-episode series exploring the ins and outs of the lives of NBA and WNBA players and their ascents to success, per a Blue Wire representative. The audio will run on all podcast platforms, including Apple, Spotify and Stitcher, and will be promoted via Mtn Dew's and Blue Wire's social channels, as well as the latter's audio channels.
- Mtn Dew's first branded podcast sees the PepsiCo drink dipping its toes into audio at a white-hot time for the growing medium, as well as targeting young consumers on a platform they increasingly inhabit.
"The Dew Zone with Druski" is Mtn Dew's first crack at a media channel that has seen momentous growth over the course of the pandemic. While in March and April 2020 podcasts experienced a slight drop in downloads as fewer people commuted to work, the medium sharply rebounded, and total ad revenue is now expected to surpass $2 billion by 2023, the IAB forecast this week. Numerous brands are getting in on the action by sponsoring podcast content, with brand advertisements now making up 45% of total ad revenue, per the IAB report.
Significant about Mtn Dew's podcast is that the drink company has produced the content itself, in partnership with Blue Wire. This hands-on role could help Mtn Dew to engage its audience more directly than it could as a sponsor. Audience engagement is a primary reason why Mtn Dew is launching a podcast to begin with, per a Blue Wire representative, as it offers a chance to target young basketball fans on a platform in which Gen Z makes up almost half (49%) of monthly listeners, according to a Statista survey.
Professional basketball is an area in which Mtn Dew's marketing is already very active. The PepsiCo brand is the official soft drink sponsor of the NBA and WNBA, a partnership which was renewed this year, and in March Mtn Dew developed a mobile game with NBA player Zion Williamson. Last week, the brand tapped superstar LeBron James in a new ad for its morning beverage Mtn Dew Rise Energy.
"The Dew Zone with Druski" also sees Mtn Dew tapping influencer marketing by teaming with a young comedian with 2.4 million followers on Instagram and 1.1 million followers on TikTok. As social apps continue to attract Gen Z, brands are pouring more of their budgets into artists and creators who consistently reach those consumers. In March, Mtn Dew recruited influencers on TikTok to promote its auctioning of a "lost episode" of Bob Ross' former TV show, "The Joy of Painting."