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ConAgra Stages Hot Dog Vendor Shout-Out

By Jun 16, 2006

ConAgra is pitching Hebrew National hot dogs to baseball fans with a contest for ballpark vendors.

The contest is one of several in-stadium promotions that dovetail with a multimillion-dollar TV and online campaign that broke last week via IPG-owned ad agency oneseven, New York City.

The Higher Authority Hawker Challenge broke over the weekend in the Detroit Tigers’ home stadium, Comerica Park. It’s one effort on ConAgra’s slate of in-stadium promotions for Hebrew National, which touts its kosher status with the tagline “We answer to a higher authority.”

“Kosher quality is increasingly relevant for all Americans. For moms, especially, kosher is becoming the ‘new organic,’ which they can trust for purity, freshness and quality ingredients,” said Hebrew National Marketing Director Tom Bartley in a statement.

Comerica Park vendors will vie for a grand-prize trip to New York to watch the Tigers play the Yankees. Vendors will audition by hollering rom the stands; the four finalists who get the most votes from fans will compete in a showdown during a pre-game ceremony on July 21.

Fans vote for their favorite vendor during home games via a voting station that shows videos of the competitors. Fans that vote are automatically entered in a sweeps to win free tickets to a Tigers game and Hebrew National coupons. In addition, during each home game ConAgra will choose (at random) one voter to be that game’s “Higher Authority Fan of the Game.” Ketchum Communications handles the contest.

The contest is part of Omaha, NE-based ConAgra’s plan to ratchet up its presence in ballparks through its vending contracts in 30 MLB parks, part of an overall strategy to better leverage its sports and entertainment sponsorships (Xtra, May 15, 2006). ConAgra added a half-pound Hebrew National dog to the menu in Boston’s Fenway Park earlier this season.

More stadium-specific promos will roll out as the baseball season progresses. Brand ambassadors who spot a fan eating a Hebrew National dog during a game will give them an “upgrade” prize of better seats and branded baseball gear. Aggressive merchandising in supermarkets supports the stadium push.

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