Sample Partnership: Chipotle and Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report is positioned to become Generation Z’s top provider of digital sports entertainment around the world. Bleacher Report owns the digital experience with cutting edge sports content but in order to maximize engagement in a flooded app market B/R needs to expand into an experiential platform. My name is Mae Cichelli and here is a partnership idea to help B/R get there.

Mae Cichelli

As a digital storyteller, I specialize in transforming user data and cutting edge technology into meaningful campaigns designed to engage, inspire and generate revenue for one of the fastest-growing digital properties along the way.

  • How would I increase Team Steam app downloads among Generation Z users?  

The following partnership is an illustration of possibility; my approach to a comprehensive mobile lifestyle marketing strategy.  It is my hope that many of theses concepts can be applied to other campaigns in addition to this one and that this sparks some kind of interesting conversation with industry professionals.


Sports, Fresh.

Generation Z demands a flawless execution of fully experiential campaigns.  In order to maximize user engagement in a flooded app market B/R needs to expand into experiential platform with a partner who has brick and mortar locations.Mae Cichelli Sponsorship

Generation Z spends more money on food than any other purchase.  The top fast food chains they frequent are Starbucks and Chipotle, two companies with significant brick and mortar locations and brand integrity.

While Starbucks is protective of their in-store branding and their partnerships tend to focus on charity campaigns, Chipotle has embraced new forms of vibrant, experiential marketing that includes multiple music festivals in the US and new ‘literary’ packaging.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. is a chain of 1,500 restaurants in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, and France.  Their tagline is Food with integrity as they provide fresh, unprocessed, fast foods.  Like B/R, Chipotle is committed to providing Generation Z the best product, accurate information, and a lively integrated brand experience both in-person and digitally.

The promotion

In May 2015, Chipotle launch a new line of packaging with short essays printed on the outside in order to engage consumers as they enjoyed their meal.  The new packaging was an instant success and Chipotle plans to print the second round in future.Mae Cichelli: Bleacher Report

Each summer since 2010 Chipotle presents the Cultivate Festival; a music, food and ideas festival in 3 US cities.

  • In May 2016 Chipotle launches their new printed packaging with the most entertaining sports writing from Bleach Report.  The cardboard packaging can be folded into a virtual reality console for Chipotle customers to watch exclusive B/R Media Lab content.
  • Bleacher Report offers an exclusive host of digital engagement for Chipotle customers who have downloaded either B/R or Chipotle’s app. Engagement includes:
    • using ibeacon technology to offer discounts and free items at Chipotle to B/R users who are near a Chipotle location;
    • the ability to seamlessly order Chipotle food from the B/R app using dynamic deep linking;
    • and push notifications of local sports content from B/R to users of the Chipotle app after they have completed a purchase (location-based technology).
    • Both partners will run partnership-based ads on each other’s apps and websites.
  • In the summer of 2016, Bleacher Report sponsors the Cultivate Festivals, providing backstage videos taken by the various pro and former athletes in attendance as well as a ‘Scoreboard Stand’ at each festival where our virtual reality headsets (with links to exclusive content) will be given out.
  • Of each order directed to Chipotle from B/R’s website and Team Stream app, 5% of the total amount will be donated to Chipotle’s Cultivate Foundation, and 10% will go to Bleacher Report.


New users will first come in contact with B/R content on Chipotle’s packaging.Mae Cichelli: Design

Users may see announcements of the partnership on Chipotle’s social media sites (Facebook 2.7M, Instagram: 2.4K, Twitter: 700K, G+: 500K, Youtube: 33K, Pinterest: 4.9K) or the video ads that B/R will run on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, and Snapchat.

We launch full PR campaign promoting our partnership and exclusive content.

Mae Cichelli MarketingUsers who have the Chipotle app will be sent push notifications of local sports from B/R once they have made a purchase or whenever they are near a Chipotle location.  This way, customers will have cutting edge sports entertainment as they wait in line or enjoy their meal.  Throughout these points of engagement, links to B/R’s Team Stream will be prominent.

Current B/R Team Steam users will be sent an email and see ads on our digital media promoting the partnership. Sometimes when B/R users are near a Chipotle location, they will be sent a push notification with a discount or free meal code.Mae Cichelli Database

These discounts may not appear to every user every time they are near a Chipotle location, but can be the result of a user’s digital behavior (if they open the B/R app 2x a day, they get rewards from our partnership) or at random to encourage users who may not have opened the B/R app recently.  Another application would be event-based triggers that send contextual and location-based notifications in real time to users.  Example: $5 off of any Chipotle purchase to all B/R users in the Kansas City area who follow the Royals immediately after a Royals win/grand slam/etc.Mae Cichelli: Partnership Activation

B/R’s Media Lab creates the ultimate virtual reality content that is viewed in a cardboard headset made from cardboard Chipotle packaging.  These headsets will be given out at the Cultivate Festival in addition to Chipotle locations. Each headset will have a link to exclusive B/R Media Lab content.


Generation Z wants to make a positive impact and often promote their involvement in nonprofits and digital charities on social media. The Chipotle Cultivate Foundation supports organizations committed to cultivating a better world through food.

More than 70% of Generation Z in the US will be overweight, while over 60% will be obese.  Feeling good about what food they are eating is an important driver in the spending behaviors of this generation. By supporting the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, Bleacher Report is encouraging a sense of empowerment over individual food choices and the global food industry.

Once a user has made a Chipotle purchase through deep linking between both partners apps, the user will be able to share information about the organization that 5% of their purchase benefitted on social media.

Closing thoughts

Bleacher Report strives to deliver compelling, dynamic content in a snackable form that in a flawlessly casual, easy to share yet extremely personalized.  This partnership utilizes optimized data and cutting edge technology to fully integrate the Team Stream app into the Generation Z users lifestyles.  Chipotle’s dedication to fresh ingredients, superior customer experiences, and openness to new points of engagement makes them an ideal partner to launch this exciting campaign.

My interest in sports partnerships stems from a desire to work in a fast-paced environment where I can synthesize creativity, business development, and data analysis with my interest in sports media.

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