Tar Heels Take Pantry March Madness Cup

Patti Thorp, UNC Build a Block adviser, Chancellor Holden Thorp, Dave Henninger, VP of Marketing Services for The Pantry/Kangaroo Express, Lauren Blanchet, Student Co-Director of UNC Build a Block.

Cary, NC- Coffee cup, that is.

While no Triangle Universities won the NCAA championships on the court, their fans helped them win big for charity. The Pantry, Ltd held their own contest called the Battle for Bean Street which pitted UNC, NC State and Duke fans against each other.

The Pantry chain, headquartered here in Cary, created a contest in which local fans purchased Bean Street coffee in branded cups marked with logos of one of the three ACC universities. For each cup purchased, the school earned one point. All these cups were tracked by barcodes and tallied on the Bean Street web site. Fans were able to see which schools were leading at the 7 area locations.

The prize: $20,000 to the winner for their charity of choice.  UNC supports UNC Build a Block,  NC State gives to the  Kay Yow Cancer Fund and Duke promotes the Duke Cancer Institute. On March 31,  UNC- Chapel Hill had the most points, but no college was a loser, each received a minimum of $5000 donated by the company.

Battle For Bean Street marks the first time the top three N.C. universities worked together in a single collaborative campaign.  The Pantry planned the contest as part of their “Fresh Initiative” in which their Bean Street Coffee is the lead product. They came up with a unique way to combine a product with fan loyalty, March Madness, and charitable giving.

The Final Tally

Carolina fans purchased a grand total of 49,402 cups, 40 percent of the total, since the start of the battle in November, 2010. The NC State Wolfpack placed second with 37 percent of the battle cups sold and the Duke Blue Devils came in third with 23 percent. UNC will receive their check at a Spring football game on April 9th.

“What Tar Heel fans have been able to do for UNC Build a Block and the families it supports, just by going out and making a conscious decision to support UNC when buying their morning coffee, is tremendous,” said Leah Vance, co-director of UNC Build a Block and a senior at UNC studying public health. “…Carolina fans have the most school spirit of any of the area universities.” UNC Build a Block will use the donation from Kangaroo Express to pay off expenses associated with building the houses for Habitat for Humanity, according to Vance.

Which Stores Were Winners?

Jennifer Eaton, Assistant Brand Manager at the Pantry, told me that 2 stores in particular led the way in sales: The Capital Boulevard Store in Raleigh, and our own North Harrison branch. The Pantry sent these store managers on a trip to the Final Four games in Indianapolis.

We like the way the Pantry gives back to their community and to their own employees.

Another winning Cary company!