Dove Men+Care taps basketball legends for 'Journey to Comfort' campaign

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Dove Men+Care, a Unilever men’s personal care brand, is giving sports fans a look inside the lives of basketball legends just in time for the start of the 2012 NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship.

Shaquille O’Neal, eight-time All-Star and two-time MVP Steve Nash, as well as Michigan State University head coach Tom Izzo (also known as “Mr. March” by fans) are part of the next Dove Men+Care “Journey to Comfort” campaign, which shares personal experiences that have helped these hoop notables become comfortable in their own skin.

As part of the campaign, O’Neal, Nash and Izzo’s “Journey to Comfort” stories will show how they understand the importance of caring for themselves and others. Beginning March 8, they will be shown throughout NCAA March Madness, as part of Unilever’s multiyear NCAA Corporate Partnership with CBS Sports and Turner Sports.

“This campaign takes even the most successful sports figures and transforms them from herculean to human,” said Rob Candelino, VP brand building for Unilever skin care. “Most men admire these three legends for leading their teams to victory, but when Shaq, Nash and Izzo talk about the most important ‘team’ to them, it’s their children that take center court. This perspective resonates with fans who are also fathers, and not only enhances their NCAA tournament experience, but also their relationship with our brand.”

The “Journey to Comfort” videos provide a glimpse into each man’s personal and professional life. Insider anecdotes about Selection Sunday, lessons learned from coaches and parents, as well as how fatherhood has changed them are just some of the unique stories revealed in the campaign.

Fans can also visit the Dove Men+Care Facebook page starting March 7 to check out “Shaq’s Big Excuse” Facebook app, which sends one of several customizable phone messages to a boss, co-worker or friend. Fans also can experience the tournament on another level by visiting the Dove Men+Care Twitter and Facebook pages to connect with O’Neal, Nash and Izzo for game predictions and basketball discussions. Bring these basketball legends even further into the March Madness arena by challenging them to an interactive game of around the world, free throws or sports trivia to be entered into the “Journey to the Final Four” sweepstakes for a chance to win basketball prizes, autographed gear and a VIP trip to the 2013 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Atlanta.

Dove Men+Care has also partnered with Viggle, a loyalty program for television, to offer fans who check into NCAA basketball games within Viggle the chance to earn extra points by watching the “Journey to Comfort” videos. Fans will also have access to a Viggle Dove Men+Care NCAA tournament page featuring live tournament stats, discussions, “Journey to Comfort” talent videos, and opportunities to purchase Dove Men+Care products through Amazon.com.

Unilever will spotlight Dove Men+Care during its second season as a partner of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. This multiyear commitment includes Unilever’s full portfolio of men’s and women’s personal care brands with exclusive category marketing and promotional rights related to all 88 NCAA championship events across 23 men’s and women’s sports, as well as integrated marketing opportunities, retail and print, promotions, online and television advertising. The sponsorship will come to life during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament across major retailers nationwide with in-store displays and merchandising starting this month, and culminating with Final Four Weekend in April 2012. As part of the 14-year multimedia agreement with the NCAA, CBS Sports and Turner Sports are licensed and collaborate on the NCAA’s corporate marketing program.

Built on Unilever’s success in the men’s deodorant category and the Dove brand’s heritage in skin care, new Dove Men+Care Aqua Impact Deodorants and Antiperspirants are specifically designed to be tough on sweat, not on skin. The collection provides underarm care with 48-hour odor and wetness protection, and has a unique formula that fights skin irritation. Joining the collection of Dove Men+Care body and face wash are new Clean Defense and Fresh Awake body and face washes.

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