Pacific Seafood, BBNC aim to win from college, pro sports sponsorships

Published on
September 20, 2021
Bristol Bay Native Corporation is partnering with the Seattle Kraken, a new expansion franchise in the NHL.

Bristol Bay Native Corporation is partnering with the Seattle Kraken, a new expansion franchise in the National Hockey League. With the deal, BBNC becomes is the latest seafood company to land a major sports marketing partnership to boost sales and recognition of its products.

The BBNC and Seattle Kraken team-up will the Bristol Bay region to be “prominently represented throughout Climate Pledge Arena on hundreds of TV screens and the arena's LED rings for visitors, on the main scoreboards during televised games and at the state-of-the-art Kraken training center,” the Seattle Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena said in a press release.

Additionally, as part of its deal with the Kraken, BBNC will operate the “Bristol Bay Wild Market" seafood marketplace inside the club's arena in Seattle, Washington. The market is a collaboration between BBNC, Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, and Bristol Wild Seafood Company, and will showcase Alaska salmon products and meals.

The three Alaska-based organizations have come together to bring “exceptional wild Alaskan seafood and the people and rich cultural heritage of Bristol Bay to millions of Arena visitors every year,” the three groups said in a press release.

“While promotion of wild Bristol Bay sockeye salmon and Pacific cod connects these partners, the preservation of Alaska marine habitats and culture unites them. That is why the marketplace is the perfect partner with the sustainability goals of Climate Pledge Arena,” the groups said.

During every game and event held at Climate Pledge Arena, a special Alaska seafood menu will be featured at the marketplaceDishes include Wild Alaska Panko Cod Street Tacos, Grilled Wild Sockeye Street Tacos, Wild Alaska Cod Fish n' Chips, Bristol Bay Wild Sockeye Fillet and Baguette, and Seasonal Clam and Bering Sea Wild Alaska Cod Chowder.

“We curated a mindful menu that reflects our regional identity along with a great representation of Bristol Bay and the importance of sustainable fishing,” Climate Pledge Arena Executive Chef Molly DeMers told SeafoodSource. 

The seafood development association sought out the partnership as part of its goal “to ensure long-term success of the world’s largest- and most-valuable salmon fishery,” BBRSDA Executive Director Andy Wink said in the press release. “This new marketplace is not only the perfect opportunity to share the stories of our fleet and organization, but also to give more people the chance to experience the benefits of their hard work.”

BBNC began discussions with the Kraken in 2020 after hearing that Seattle had been awarded an NHL expansion franchise, BBNC CEO Jason Metrokin told SeafoodSource.

“Learning more about their values and commitment to sustainability, community, and youth; these fit well with Bristol Bay and BBNC,” Metrokin said. “The relationship with the Seattle Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena is a great opportunity for us to showcase all that is important to Alaska, our region and the world-class fishery that is Bristol Bay.”

Clackamas, Oregon, U.S.A.-based Pacific Seafood was the first major seafood supplier to land a sports marketing partnership when it won a multi-year partnership with the Pac-12 Conference last fall. Pac-12 is an athletic conference comprised of a dozen universities on the U.S. West Coast.

Pacific Seafood sponsors the Pac-12 Football Championship Game and Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament as the "Official Meat and Seafood Provider of the Pac-12," Pacific Vice President of Marketing and Development Bill Hueffner told SeafoodSource.

Through its sponsorship agreement, Pacific provides retailers with Pac-12 and Pacific Seafood co-branded point-of-sale materials. And each week, the Pac-12 selects a Catch of the Week presented by Pacific Seafood, with some retailers leveraging that promotion by offering their own Catch of the Week specials, Heuffner said.

Earlier this year, Pacific added on the Women’s International Champions Cup to the list of events it supports. All of the soccer nets used during the tournament were actual fishing nets provided by Pacific Seafood, in a promotion encouraging sustainability efforts, Hueffner said.

“This was coupled with an in-person activation where spectators could interact with the same type of nets used on the field,” he said. “We used this as an opportunity to educate fans from around the world on seafood sustainability.”

Hueffner said the partnership will become even more valuable to the company now that fans are back in stadiums, following a year in which fans were prevented from attending U.S. collegiate and professional athletic events.

"We look forward to amplifying our partnership with more on-site activations,” Hueffner said.

Moving forward, Pacific plans to partner with retailers on Pac-12 promotions of its current products, and then use the partnership to market tailgate-ready seafood sausages and breakfast sausages - products that are currently under development to be launched sometime during the 2022 college football season.

Photo courtesy of Bristol Bay Regional Development Association  

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