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Phillips 66 brings the GO to Big 12 basketball tourneys

College basketball in the nation’s heartland and Phillips 66 go back a long way.

The company has served as the title sponsor of the Big 12 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships held in Kansas City, Missouri, for 36 years. Dating back to the former Big Eight Conference, it’s one of the longest-running sponsorships in college athletics.

On the court, the Big 12 has earned a reputation as one of the country’s most competitive conferences. The conference landed a nation-high tying eight teams in the men’s postseason tournament, headlined by No. 1 seed Houston and No. 2 seed Iowa State, which claimed the 2024 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship.

In the women’s bracket, seven conference teams earned postseason berths, led by No. 1 seed Texas and the winner of the 2024 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship.

We caught up with Shannon Vogt, senior director of Fuels Brand Marketing, and Michael Brass, director of Brand Sponsorships, to find out more about the company’s partnership with the Big 12 and its latest advertising campaign.

Why does Phillips 66 sponsor the Big 12 basketball tournaments?

Our sports sponsorships help us build brand awareness by maximizing the exposure of our brands and connecting our brands with cultural moments. The Big 12 geographic footprint overlaps with a lot of our core markets – we have a strong presence in the Midwest and Southwest.

Our sponsorship enhances brand affinity with consumers and strengthens key business relationships. The tournaments attract both consumers who fill up at Phillips 66 gas stations for their everyday transportation needs and our B2B marketing customers who own and operate those stations.

What is the genesis of the company’s GO GO GO™ campaign?

We debuted this new fuels brand campaign in late 2023. The campaign positions our brands as the catalysts for all the “go” in people’s lives – we get drivers on the road and keep them there with quality fuel, so they can GO GO GO to where they need to be.

During each Big 12 tournament game, our commercial ran three times and we supplemented our brand messaging in Kansas City with a targeted media campaign that included digital out-of-home boards, paid social, radio and live remotes, and digital banner ads.

How did Big 12 basketball fans respond to the activations and promotions you held during the tournaments?

There was a lot of enthusiasm among consumers for our brand activations and on-court promotions. The most exciting moments were when seven lucky fans won our Ultimate Shot Challenge by making a layup, free throw, three-pointer and finally hitting half-court shots to win $6,600 in digital fuel cards in the Fuel Forward™ App. Over the course of 26 games, we awarded fans with over $62,000 in digital fuel cards to drive transactions and build loyalty in our app.

There was plenty going on outside T-Mobile Center, too, right?

Yes, nearly 5,000 fans visited our GO Card photo booth located outside the arena, where they could get their own personalized trading card. We also offered a 12-cent per gallon discount in the app to all consumers in Kansas City during the 10-day tournament.

We continued our tradition of supporting Big 12 athletes with a $66,000 donation to the Big 12 general scholarship fund and gave $100,000 to Kansas City Parks & Recreation to refurbish recreational basketball courts for the benefit of the community and future Big 12 athletes.