Frank’s RedHot suits up with the NFL for “homegating”

From Shopper Marketing Report: The partnership honours 100 seasons with packaging, prizes and game food pairings.


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The tailgate party is a time honoured gridiron tradition, and Frank’s RedHot’s “Homegating” program is getting fans to participate in game-day parties with an NFL tie-in.

Deborah Sharpe, marketing director for Canada at food manufacturer McCormick & Co, tells strategy that awareness of Frank’s RedHot’s NFL partnership has positive impact on brand affinity and purchase intent.

To communicate the official partnership, Frank’s RedHot bottles will have new neckbands featuring the NFL lock up starting in October and running through to Super Bowl 2020 on February 2. Brand messaging touts the benefits of the sauce in elevating game day foods, and will be done through NFL-themed experiential, in-store activations, and OOH.

“We know that NFL fans have a higher hot sauce purchase than the average consumer, especially with the NFL season kicking off,” Sharpe says, adding that the brand saw the beginning of the 100th NFL season as an opportunity to drive purchases.

MOCKUPS_FRANKSFOOTBALL_floordisplayTo support the NFL Canada partnership and its “Homegating” program in store, Frank’s RedHot is using merchandising vehicles such as floor displays that will be leveraged for out-of-section merchandising. Also, shelf talkers feature some of Frank’s RedHot’s signature recipes such as Buffalo chicken dip and Buffalo chicken nachos.

She says the brand worked closely with its retail partners to ensure “extended” shelf space via additional displays and inventory for the program. Frank’s RedHot Sauce is available in the condiments aisle of grocery stores, and are also often merchandised out-of-section in complementary product aisles such as meat, frozen or international foods.

“We have also been putting increasing focus on our e-commerce channels as we know this is an important channel for growth and have been seeing strong results,” she says.

The brand is also using augmented reality to further drive awareness and engagement at homegating events at Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall (September 27 to October 1) as well as Galleries de la Capitale in Quebec City (October 20 to 22). Frank’s RedHot also hosted on-site sampling through September in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, with dipping stations and prizing opportunities.

For its “Homegating” content series, the brand partnered with Chef Matt Basile, creator of the Toronto-based street-food food truck brand Fidel Gastro, to create recipe videos focused on homegating to inspire home cooks. A new video is being released every month leading up to the Super Bowl.

To kick off the 2019-2020 NFL season and its 100th anniversary with Frank’s RedHot, Sharpe says the brand ran a user-generated content contest in September asking Frank’s RedHot and football fans to show the craziest ways they use Frank’s RedHot for a chance to win the ultimate NFL “Homegating” experience including a 55” TV, reclining armchair, and one-year supply of Frank’s RedHot. It ties in with Frank’s RedHot “I put that S#!t on everything” messaging, which the brand introduced in 2012 through a mischievous octogenarian, “Ethel,” played by BC native Jean Hamilton, and which is included on the floor packaging.

In 2017, McCormick & Co bought out the food side of Reckitt Benckiser Group to bolster its condiments presence with names like French’s and Frank’s RedHot. According to the latest EuroMonitor data, Canada is one of the top ten retail markets for sauces, dressings and condiments in the world, with a year-over-year sales growth of 2%.