NERD Focus, infused energy drink based in N.J., signs sponsorship deal with Devils, Pru Center

How does a New Jersey-based energy drink increase its brand awareness in the state: It becomes an official partner of the New Jersey Devils and the Prudential Center — and then plans a big marketing campaign.

At least, that’s the thought process of NERD Focus, a self-described “think drink” that was started in Texas before being purchased by Freehold-based Beverage USA.

On Thursday, NERD Focus announced a multiyear partnership that will include a number of promotional tie-ins, including a T-shirt toss to spectators.

NERD Focus will also be the presenting partner of “Devil in Focus,” which will launch across the Devils’ social platforms as a part of the partnership, providing fans with the opportunity to vote for which player they want to see spotlighted during a segment of the Devils’ Pre-Game Live Show. The feature will cover recent highlights of the selected player, hosted by Devils reporter Catherine Bogart.

To kick off the partnership, NERD Focus will be hosting a sweepstakes this March giving four Devils fans a chance to win tickets for them and a guest to the newly renovated NERD Focus suite at Prudential Center when the Devils host the New York Rangers on March 30.

The drink was founded by a University of Texas at San Antonio student as an alternative to highly caffeinated energy drinks. With the help of his professors, the student created a “Think Drink” alternative.

Beverage USA is taking the drink one step further, as it will offer a vodka-based specialty cocktail, the Electric Screwdriver, at Prudential Center at all events.

Beverage USA co-founder Rocco LaVista said he is eager to begin the partnership.

“As a New Jersey-based company, we couldn’t be more proud and excited to be partnering with New Jersey’s home team, the Devils, and Prudential Center, one of the top ranked venues in the country,” he said. “This partnership sets the stage for our full launch of NERD Focus in the New Jersey/New York area over the next couple of months.”

NERD Focus will receive a digitally enhanced dasher board advertisements during away games, digital signage throughout Prudential Center, hospitality and retail marketing.

LaVista said the timing off the partnership is perfect — as it matches the style of play the Devils feel they will have for years to come with their young core.

“The Devils’ energetic style of play and the focus they show on the ice epitomizes who NERD Focus is as a brand,” he said. “We are really looking forward to enhancing the fan experience through some of the interactive features that we put in place.”

Chad Biggs, senior vice president of corporate partnerships activations for the Devils and Prudential Center, said he feels the partnership with NERD Focus will enhance the atmosphere at Prudential Center and during Devils home games.

“Having NERD Focus on board to provide the opportunity to amp up the crowd and create unique experiences for fans is a great addition to our in-arena experience,” he said.