Hass Avocados Head Back to the Gridiron

As it’s done for past football seasons, the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) is once more rolling out a sports entertaining marketing campaign. This year’s “Kick Off with Hass Avocados” program will urge shoppers to include the fruit in game-day meals.

Although the campaign bows at a time when there’s a strong supply in the market from many countries of origin, it’s a group effort that aims to further tie Hass avocados to sports throughout the year, as well as to support sports-related promotional efforts conducted by Irvine, Calif.-based HAB and its member organizations, two of which, the Irvine-based California Avocado Commission (CAC) and the Chilean Avocado Importers Association (CAIA) in Washington, are providing additional funding for the program.

In support of the initiative, HAB will run an advertisement on FOX Sports Net. The spot, featuring former college and NFL player John Lynch, is scheduled to air throughout the college football season during all of FOX’s college football game broadcasts. Further, as part of the board’s TV exposure, Hass avocados will be integrated on air into FOX’s “College Football Magazine” show, sports entertaining-themed online advertising will appear on FoxSports.com, and FOX Sports will hold HAB-sponsored tailgate events at key college games during the season, where fans can try Hass avocado game day recipes.

HAB has also scored Food Network chef Tyler Florence as campaign spokesman. Florence has collaborated with the board to create two avocado-centric recipes appropriate for game day, and will promote Hass avocados in media interviews with TV outlets in top-tier markets across the United States during a satellite media tour. Further, Florence will star in several HAB-produced online videos that will be posted on the board’s website and promoted through social media outlets. In the videos, Florence will prepare both of his avocado-containing recipes and offer quick avocado tips.

Additional online efforts include the rollout of a year-round sports entertaining microsite at Sports.AvocadoCentral.com. The site will offer such features as Hass avocado recipe ideas and tips, and enabling visitors to share recipes on commonly used social networking sites or via e-mail, and an online recipe contest where consumers can upload photos, videos and blogs of their best “Kick Off” avocado recipe. The winner will get an all-expenses paid trip to the 2011 Rose Bowl Game, including airfare, hotel and passes to the Rose Bowl Parade.

“We have seen tremendous growth in the category during this key supply period,” said Jose Luis Obregon, managing director of HAB. “With a television advertising buy in excess of $1 million, well-known chef and TV personality Tyler Florence, serving as the spokesperson and a consumer recipe contest with a grand prize trip to the 2011 Rose Bowl Game, HAB feels our efforts will lead to an increase in sales at the retail level.”

Retailers can do their part to spark Hass avocado sales by using themed point-of-sale materials highlighting game-day avocado recipes and featuring information about HAB’s online recipe contest and its prizes.

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