The Dairy Alliance


  • Agriculture


  • Strategy and Planning
  • Creative and Content
  • Digital Marketing
  • Audience Engagement
  • Interactive Development
  • Public Relations

College basketball is king in Kentucky. So, when Dairy Alliance inked a name, image, and likeness (NIL) deal with University of Kentucky basketball standout freshman, Reed Sheppard, the regional dairy checkoff group called on Paulsen to plan and execute a slam dunk campaign.

Buzzer Beating Creative

In a matter of a few short weeks, Paulsen built a program that garnered nine million views, accounted for nearly a third of Dairy Alliance’s web traffic and enhanced the dairy industry’s reputation in the region.

Balancing Celebrity and Product

Paulsen’s creative team was charged with leveraging the celebrity of an athlete who had just skyrocketed in popularity as one of the hottest players in the NCAA to help enhance awareness of milk’s nutritional value.

The “Milk’s Got Game” campaign played on Sheppard’s on-court skills without assigning him as a spokesperson, striking a balance between utilizing his abilities and promoting milk’s benefits. The language also left the door open for future NIL celebrities in other sports.

As with most celebrity shoots, the Paulsen team knew they would have very little time with Sheppard. To get stills, audio and video in under 90 minutes, the team prepared for any and every contingency including extra wardrobe, practice lighting sessions and of course, an extra gallon of milk.

Media Mix For the Win

Originally slated as a consumer-facing campaign, Milk’s Got Game quickly morphed into a dual-audience program: consumers in Kentucky and dairy farmers who invest in the checkoff.

Paulsen’s media team recommended a mix of out-of-home and digital placements. Billboards in Louisville and a suite of digital ads launched alongside the landing page “” which included a video of Sheppard and facts about milk’s nutritional value.

TikTok, Facebook and geo-targeted digital banners ran for approximately four weeks and directed consumers and farmers to the Paulsen-built landing page, increasing Dairy Alliance web traffic by nearly 40 percent over normal monthly Dairy Alliance traffic.