HOUSTON --Jan. 17, 2013 – Sysco Corporation (NYSE: SYY), North America’s leading foodservice distribution company, today announced a multi-platform marketing relationship with Food Network, its highly rated show “Restaurant: Impossible,” and a partnership with the show’s host, celebrity chef Robert Irvine.
The multi-level campaign is the first of its kind for Sysco. It will utilize specific Food Network programming and include an integration, featuring assets that relate to how Sysco serves its customers every day. The campaign will include integrated marketing and engagement initiatives to reinforce Sysco’s commitment to be its customers’ most valued and trusted business partner.
“As the industry leader, we must continue to find new ways to engage with and serve our customers,” said Bill DeLaney, president and chief executive officer of Sysco Corporation. “From optimizing product assortment and improving sales channels to offering innovative technology solutions and launching unique marketing partnerships like this one with the Food Network, we are focused on both enhancing and expanding traditional channels and approaches. We see this as an opportunity to continue to build loyalty because, after all, when our customers are successful, then we are successful.”
“We believe the strong correlation between Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible and Sysco’s far-reaching business will resonate with our audiences,” said Karen Grinthal, senior vice president of Advertising Sales, Food Network. “This marketing program we have built with Sysco creates a unique and dynamic platform around a signature Food Network show and chef personality that transforms the lives of restaurateurs. The clincher is that it personifies what Sysco does every day.”
The year-long campaign officially launches next week with an employee event at a culinary conference kicked off by Chef Irvine, where Sysco chefs and culinary associates from across the United States and Canada will participate in a week-long event focused on food and how to help Sysco customers improve and grow their business.
Other key components of the campaign include:
Media tie-ins, involving formal sponsorship of “Restaurant: Impossible,” product integrations, and TV commercials;
Digital integrations, incorporating Food Network, Chef Irvine and Sysco assets on foodnetwork.com, the “Restaurant: Impossible” page on foodnetwork.com, and sysco.com and Sysco’s Facebook page and ChefRef app.
Product promotions, including three, large-scale Sysco customer sweepstakes; and
Consumer tie-in, including a consumer sweepstakes on foodnetwork.com.
Before committing to the relationship, Sysco conducted research to determine how its customers valued Food Network and its associated properties. More than 70 percent of Sysco customers surveyed watch Food Network at least once a week and said it helps them stay on top of trends.
Chef Irvine, a 25-year culinary veteran, is widely recognized and has strong customer ties to Sysco, dating back to 1997. He also is a longtime restaurateur, currently owning and operating Eat! and Nosh, located in Hilton Head Island, S.C. The premise of his show, “Restaurant: Impossible,” one of Food Network’s most popular shows, entails Chef Irvine helping a struggling restaurant by overhauling its weakest spots with menu updates, staff retraining and aesthetic improvements. What is done on the show to help improve restaurants and take what is good to great, and what Sysco does with its customers in the way of unique service offerings and solutions, is a close parallel and an important springboard for the partnership.
“The partnership with Food Network is a great fit and an unprecedented journey for Sysco on a number of fronts,” said Bill Goetz, Sysco’s senior vice president of Marketing. “With our presence in nearly every major U.S. and Canadian market, it provides us with a platform to launch our first national brand campaign and our first network show integration. Food Network’s mission is directly relevant to Sysco’s mission, vision and goals. And what Chef Irvine does with his show, “Restaurant: Impossible,” is what Sysco does with its customers – and that’s help make restaurants successful.”
Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home. Its family of products also includes equipment and supplies for the foodservice and hospitality industries. The company operates 185 distribution facilities serving over 400,000 customers. For the fiscal year 2012 that ended June 30, 2012, the company generated record sales of over $42 billion. For more information about Sysco visit www.sysco.com
. For investor news, follow the company at www.twitter.com/SyscoStock
or download the Sysco IR App, available on the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Market.
FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com
) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring and empowering through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to more than 100 million U.S. households and averages more than 9.9 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine has tripled its rate base and delivers a circulation of 1.5 million. Headquartered in New York, Food Network has a growing international presence with programming in more than 150 countries, including 24 hour networks in Great Britain, India, Asia and Africa. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), which also owns and operates Cooking Channel (www.cookingchanneltv.com
), DIY Network (www.diynetwork.com
), Great American Country (www.gactv.com
), HGTV (www.hgtv.com
), and Travel Channel (www.travelchannel.com
), is the manager and general partner.
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