Campbell boosts health appeal with sports sponsorship

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition

An industry wide surge to promote healthy eating and active
lifestyles on the back of a growing obesity crisis gathers momentum
as leading soup company Campell signs a three year sponsorship
agreement with some of the nation's top athletes.

The deal with basketball team Harlem Globetrotters provides the company with immediate access to a broad new consumer base.

Campbell will have global exclusive rights as a presenting sponsor of the team, which is due to tour 200 North American cities and 100 international cities this year alone.

"Our goal is to gain exposure as they go into markets in different communities nationwide, and also to work with them to promote the benefits of active lifestyles for our consumers,"​ said Campbell spokesperson Beth Jolly.

The deal will also allow Campbell to participate in several of the team's programs, such as pre-game clinics and summer camps, which target thousands of children- a market Campbell is keen to tap into with its healthy product appeal.

"As a company we are very committed to the health of children and this new relationship will help us highlight the benefits of active play,"​ said the company's president and Chief executive officer Douglas Conant.

"This partnership also allows us to bring our brands into hundreds of communities to tens of thousands of fans across the world,"​ he added.

Campbell also plans to integrate the Globetrotters into its Labels for Education school campaign, which allows consumers to redeem product labels for educational material.

Indeed, this is not the first sports sponsorship the company is undertaking. It has supported the National Football League for almost a decade, and it has also been an Olympic sponsor.

Linking its name to sports events and teams emphasizes the company's 'healthy' image, something Campbell has been striving to achieve. Indeed, food manufacturers are increasingly eager to stand out as responsible companies in the midst of a national health and obesity crisis, something that has led to industry-wide reformulations and marketing initiatives in recent years.

Just a few weeks ago, Campbell announced that it is to slash salt content in its products by up to 45 percent, a move that underlines continued industry efforts to attract consumers with a wider variety of 'healthy' product options.

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