Introducing Reese's University: Where The Cups Are Overflowing With Potential (2024)

Ryan Riess

Vice President, Brand Strategy and Creative Development

Key Takeaways:

    • The Reese’s brand is bringing the enthusiasm for the college experience to Reese’s fans with the launch of Reese’s University.
    • The Reese’s U initiative is focused on delighting and engaging consumers in a more immersive brand world.
    • Reese’s U (or RU) promises to have many surprises for the diehard Reese’s fans over the next year. The initial launch has included an incredibly in-depth website, a line of RU lifestyle wear, and several social postings encouraging prospective students to “find their passion” at RU.

There are few things people feel as strongly about (and are as attached to) as their alma mater. And now, Reese’s fans can enroll at a their very own university that’s accepting 99.9% of applicants—a university where students come first, and chocolate and peanut butter come second…or maybe they’re all tied for first.

Reese’s University—based in “Round Ridge, Pennsylvania”—is a brand-new, ambitious initiative that wraps the spirit and fandom of college around the No. 1 selling candy brand in the United States, Reese’s.

Reese’s University has been in development for over nine months, and is ready to begin enrollment with an in-depth Reese’s University website that invites Reese’s fans to submit an application to join the “Fighting Cuppies” (and their larger college community, known as “Peanut Butter Nation”). Reese’s University enrollees will receive special communications, offers and experiences from the brand in the coming months.

Reese’s University is our way to reward consumers and fans who have shown how much passion they have for the Reese’s brand. We wanted to engage with them in a new and different way than traditional campaigns and loyalty programs.

Reese’s University is poised to become a household name this winter, with several big promotional moments during some of college sports’ fans favorite occasions in early 2022. You can expect to see Reese’s University in commercials, on select Reese’s packaging and in some very unexpected places very soon.

And we didn’t forget about swag, either; Reese’s University is creating some awesome branded merchandise that is now available in thestudent bookstore. While merch is cool and all the rage, the intent behind Reese’s University isn’t just to sell products and merchandise—it’s to create a parallel between people’s love of their favorite colleges, and their love for Reese’s.

Making Reese’s more than just a sponsor

In my role with the C-Sweet Studio—our in-house marketing agency here at Hershey—I understand firsthand that everything Reese’s touches just seems somehow more fun, engaging, and exciting than it was before. That’s the magic of Reese’s!

That’s why, when tasked in early 2021 with developing a Reese’s fall football promotion, my team and I wanted to use that magic to develop a more meaningful relationship between Reese’s and college sports.

I’ve personally worked on the Reese’s brand for nearly half of my 12 years at Hershey, including engagements working on Reese’s Football and Reese’s March Madness. Over so much history with Reese’s, one thing my teams and I always struggled with—and we’ve tried resolving it in a bunch of different ways—was how do we make Reese’s more than just a sponsor of college sporting events? Lots of brands have a very clear connection to the game (like Nike or Gatorade that are in on the action, or beer brands because they're associated with watching the sport). But the reality is that Reese’s role is not as well defined.

In the past, we’ve resolved the issue by running campaigns that tie into elements of the game (such as the 'Winners Go for Two' concept).

But this time around, my team and I wanted something really truthful in terms of how Reese’s relates to college sports. Great creative comes from an honesty that consumers immediately recognize. We found our truth in the parallel between the passion and enthusiasm and love that people have for their college—from the band to the colors to the logos to the mascot…and the love they have for the Reese’s brand.

The idea for Reese’s University ultimately came from us taking a slight step back: we focused on our consumers not simply sports. We asked “How can we satisfy the Reese’s consumer?” and “What would a consumer who really loves Reese’s want?”

A consumer that loves Reese’s as a brand would love to go to Reese’s University and be immersed in a Reese’s experience. Plus, they would love to get a newsletter from Reese’s, would love to wear a sweatshirt from Reese’s and would love to get coupon codes from Reese’s, too.

An authentic experience of the Reese’s brand

Developing Reese’s University was a unified effort for C-Sweet Studio that involved a ton of collaboration. From developing what the visual world of Reese’s University looked like to creating a mascot to bringing the concept in-store, it’s been a true best-in-class example of internal and external partners working seamlessly together.

Making the initiative impactful and true to the brand also meant making it feel as real as possible.

Videos were shot on location at two real college campuses, for example, and our team has developed a thoughtful social media presence for Reese’s University that spans bothInstagramandTikTok. The Instagram handle will showcase more traditional university content, such as scenes around campus with recruiting messages, whereas the TikTok account will feature things like “student” takeovers, where individuals will highlight their experiences as Reese’s University students.

It’s our hope that viewers of the content will ask themselves “Wait, is this real?” Then we want to give them a second moment where they realize “OK this can't be real, but I sure wish it was—because I would love to take a class about the science of chocolate or peanut butter. I would love to learn about the iconic Reese’s shape. I would love to take a cooking class about using Reese’s.”

And learning more about what consumers would love to see from Reese’s University is the next phase of the evolution.

Ultimately, we’re so excited to finally share Reese’s University with the world. Over the last nine months of working on this, my team and I have really gotten to know the idea and let it grow and blossom; it’s been a true team effort across our organization, and we’re really proud of it. We know it'll grow and blossom even more as we get feedback from retailers and (most importantly) our loyal Reese’s customers.

Almost as exciting as going off to college.

To learn more and enroll at Reese’s University today, go to

Introducing Reese's University: Where The Cups Are Overflowing With Potential (1)

Introducing Reese's University: Where The Cups Are Overflowing With Potential (2024)


Introducing Reese's University: Where The Cups Are Overflowing With Potential? ›

Introducing Reese's University: Where The Cups Are Overflowing With Potential. Reese's University is a brand-new initiative that wraps the spirit of college around the No. 1 selling candy brand in the United States.

What is the acceptance rate for Reese's university? ›

The school also boasts a very high 99.99% acceptance rate. To apply for rolling admission, Reese's says all peanut butter lovers have to do is head to "Tell us who you are, why you're awesome, and what makes you a true Fighting Cuppy," the brand writes.

What is the point of Reese's university? ›

What is REESE'S University? REESE'S University is the most premier chocolate and peanut butter research institution in the world and proud home of the Fighting Cuppies. Who are the Fighting Cuppies? The Fighting Cuppies are the #1 confection-based athletics program of REESE'S University.

What is the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup scholarship? ›

The contest, which ends in January 2024, offers players the chance to win $25,000 in athletic scholarships, and says there is no athletic ability required to participate. The Hershey Company, owner of Reese's, says "it's not really a scholarship. It's just straight-up cash."

What is the Reese's university mascot? ›

Join us to dance and sing alongside the REESE'S University Mascot, Cuppy and the Marching Cuppies Alumni Band!

How much does it cost to go to Reese's university? ›

Reese's University, the world's first and most pre-eminent institution of higher chocolate and peanut butter education and the only tuition-free university in the world, recently announced open enrollment for the first time in its 100-year history.

What is the 25000 Reese's prize? ›

A new $25,000 giveaway by Hershey is coming under scrutiny for possible violations of state and federal sweepstakes law. The contest is being promoted on packs of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and while Hershey claims that no purchase is necessary, evidence points to the contrary.

How did Reese's become so popular? ›

In the early 1920s, H.B. Reese, an employee of The Hershey Company, started making candy in the basem*nt of his Hershey home. When Reese created Peanut Butter Cups as part of an assortment of candies in 1928, the first generation of chocolate and peanut butter fans made the candy his bestselling item.

What is the story behind Reese's? ›

The ingenious flavor combination in each of these treats can be traced back to 1928, when H.B. Reese, an employee of The Hershey Company, created REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups in his basem*nt. The Hershey Company supplied Reese with the chocolate coating for his candy and eventually purchased his business in 1963.

What does Reese's stand for? ›

First introduced around 1928, the PB cups were not a stand-alone treat, but were marketed as part of an assortment of candies that you could buy by the weight. They were named for their creator, Harry Burnett Reese. Unlike Milton Hershey, it was not obvious that Harry Reese was destined to become a confectioner.

Is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups owned by Hershey? ›

Who owns REESE'S? REESE'S Candy is made by The Hershey Company. In 1956, H.B. Reese's six sons took over the family business and later sold it to The Hershey Company in 1963.

What state eats the most Reese's Peanut Butter Cups? ›

It claims to have used 14 years' worth of data to put together the map. California's favorite is the Reese's Peanut Butter cups, New York is Sour Patch kids, Texas is Starburst, Illinois is Sour Patch Kids, Pennsylvania is Hershey's Mini Bars, and North Carolina loves Reese's Cups.

How much did Hershey pay for Reese's? ›

Reese worked on a dairy farm owned by Milton Hershey, the Hershey chocolate king, and in 1928 Harry began toying with the idea of mixing peanut butter and chocolate in cups. He founded the H. B. Reese Candy Co., and eventually sold out to Hershey for $23.5 million.

Where is Reese's University? ›

Reese's University—based in “Round Ridge, Pennsylvania”—is a brand-new, ambitious initiative that wraps the spirit and fandom of college around the No. 1 selling candy brand in the United States, Reese's.

What was Reese's first name? ›

Reese is a gender-neutral name of Welsh origins, meaning "enthusiasm," "fire," and "ardor." What was once primarily a boy's name, Reese propelled into girls' territory in the early 2000s, thanks to Hollywood A-lister Reese Witherspoon. A name with such strong ties to stardom should not be snubbed either.

What was Reese's original name? ›

The H.B. Reese Candy Company was established in 1923 by H. B. Reese in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The official product name was "Penny Cups" because they could be purchased for one cent. Reese had originally worked at a Hershey dairy farm, and from the start, he used Hershey chocolate in his confections.

What college has the highest acceptance rating? ›

Top 100 Colleges and Universities with Highest Acceptance Rates in 2024
City University of Seattle Bellevue, Washington100%
Utah Valley University Orem, Utah100%
University of Maryland University College Adelphi, Maryland100%
Wilmington University New Castle, Delaware99.9%
Nyack College Nyack, New York99.8%
5 more rows

Who has the highest acceptance rate for Ivies? ›

Don't get your hopes up. Cornell has the highest acceptance rate among the Ivies, Some 7.3 percent of applicants were admitted to the class of 2026. Cornell admits about 5000 students per year. Harvard in contrast admitted only 1220 students in regular admissions and 722 via early action.

What is Lehigh Ed acceptance rate? ›

The early decision acceptance rate at Lehigh University is 66%, compared to an overall acceptance rate of 37%.

What is Purdue's acceptance rate? ›

What is the acceptance rate for Purdue? Purdue admissions is somewhat selective with an acceptance rate of 69%.

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