Sponsor Brings First Lady To ‘Loser’

Clarifcation made at 3:00 p.m. ET

When The Biggest Loser Returns this week to NBC, one sponsor is bringing a famous face.

The First Lady Michelle Obama will appear on the show during November in support of a campaign urging people to drink more water launched by the Partnership for Healthier America, a cause Brita water filters is embracing as part of its marketing.

In addition to Brita, Subway, Ford, Jennie-O, Planet Fitness and
General Mills have multiplatform campaigns and licensing deals linked to
the show's 15th season.

Subway spokesman and NASCAR driver Carl Edwards will lead a workout during one of the show's episodes. For the first time, Subway will also be featuring people from Loser in one of its commercials. Last season's winner, Danni Allen, and another popular contestant Courtney Crozier, appear in a new spot.

Monica Austin, senior VP of business and brand development at Shine, which produces the show, says sponsors return because of the  "health and wellness message that only Biggest Loser can deliver for them."

Shine and NBC's sales and licensing departments work together on sponsor packages. In addition to in-show integrations, most buy spots, create digital elements, social campaign, retail extension and promote their involvement with the show," Austin said.

Ford will be promoting its Warriors in Pink breast cancer fund raising program during the show with on-air segments, digital videos, a commercial and a print campaign.

Planet Fitness, in its third season providing gym equipment to the show, will sponsor a challenge and be featured during multiple episodes in which contestants work out in Planet Fitness gyms. The company will also start offering Biggest Loser-branded workout cases at its gyms.

Another licensing partner, The Biggest Loser RunWalk, will be involved in-show for the first time. The show will have a Mud Run and a triathlon, with contestants biking, swimming and running.

The premiere of The Biggest Loser airs Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. This season also marks the first time the show has a celebrity contestant, American Idol winner Ruben Studdard.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.