University of Wisconsin student wins DJ Khaled concert for entire school

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) — A University of Wisconsin-Madison student, Sam Jeschke, made tons of friends after a challenge from Mentos Gum.

To reinforce how the simple act of sharing Mentos Gum can create lasting connections, the brand surprised Jeschke with an epic challenge on freshmen move-in day: Connect with his campus community using 43,000 bottles of Mentos Gum to earn a free DJ Khaled concert for UW-Madison students and a year of free tuition for himself. After the initial shock wore off, Jeschke took the challenge in stride and visited every inch of campus, including the Kohl Center, Memorial Union Terrace and Union South. His mission was documented for the microsite and Mentos Gum social media channels.

“I have never been so stunned in my life. I went from thinking I was going to pass out a few samples to getting my own hashtag, messages of support from DJ Khaled and one heck of a challenge,” Jeschke said. “But the best part was all of the people I met. The entire student body rallied behind me. It was an experience I’ll never forget.”

Jeschke shared the final bottles Tuesday night just hours before the deadline during an annual first-year student event at Camp Randall Stadium. The stadium erupted in cheers when a personal message from DJ Khaled congratulated Jeschke and announced he was coming to campus.

“Thanks to Sam, Mentos Gum is thrilled to bring DJ Khaled to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to celebrate this impressive accomplishment,” said Sylvia Buxton, Vice President Marketing for Perfetti Van Melle North America. “The #SamHasMentosGum challenge proved that even at a time when we’re happy to hide behind our smartphones and resort to social media for human interaction, a gesture as small as sharing Mentos Gum is really all it takes to connect with someone.” 

DJ Khaled was in on the surprise from day one. He recorded a personal video message for Jeschke to help issue the challenge and a celebratory video to help announce Jeschke’s success. He also supported the campaign with numerous social media posts and national media interviews.

“Sam did it like we knew he would,” DJ Khaled said. “I am coming for University of Wisconsin-Madison and we are going to light up the stage.”

DJ Khaled will perform on Monday, October 30 at the Kohl Center. The free concert is exclusive to UW-Madison students. For more information about securing tickets, please visit

Mentos Gum and its creative agency, Fast Horse, developed the fully integrated campaign #SamHasMentosGum to help rally support from college campuses nationwide. The brand partnered with University of Wisconsin-Madison to create the ruse by offering a brand ambassador role to all incoming freshmen during welcome week. Mentos Gum received hundreds of submissions but Jeschke quickly rose to the top. During the final in-person interview, the brand captured photos of Jeschke which were used, unbeknownst to the freshman, in the nationwide campaign.

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