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Partnership Reports

First Foray Into the NFL for Pit Boss Grills

November 15, 2023

Pit Boss® Grills recently announced it will become the Official Grill of both the Baltimore Ravens and the Green Bay Packers. This marks the first NFL partnerships for Pit Boss, which is now the only grill brand with more than one major pro sports deal. Congrats to all three of our partners on these exciting new relationships!

“As we delved into the world of NFL partnership possibilities, the data and insights we obtained from the SponsorUnited team definitely made a difference in our deals with the Ravens and Packers,” said Jared Kozinn, head of sports partnerships at Dansons/Pit Boss Grills.

Pit Boss Sponsorship History

Pit Boss has served as the Official Grill of NASCAR for the past five years, and this sponsorship has really worked for them. Brand awareness* for Pit Boss amongst the NASCAR fan base was 23% five years ago; however, after Pit Boss Grill’s fourth full season as the entitlement sponsor for NASCAR, brand awareness is now at a whopping 74%. Due to the success of this partnership, Pit Boss decided to explore NFL sponsorship opportunities to expand their reach. Not only does the league have a huge fan base, but there is an innate relationship between football and grilling.

Pit Boss NFL Strategy

By partnering with the Packers and Ravens, teams that play in notoriously cold climates, Pit Boss aims to disrupt seasonal grilling, extend the traditional sales cycle, and sell grills all year long. “Our products are designed to perform in the harshest weather conditions and are easy to use. We want to show consumers that if you can cook on a Pit Boss grill in the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field,” says Kozinn, “you can cook on a Pit Boss grill anytime and anywhere.” But it goes beyond cold-weather grilling. The impressive digital and social reach of these two organizations, along with the nationwide fanbase of both, is a significant advantage for Pit Boss. 

There is also opportunity to impact the local community in both markets. Pit Boss and the Ravens have come together to donate a brand-new grill to every fire station in Baltimore City, and in Green Bay, there is a giveaway that is only open to local heroes (first responders, military, veterans, etc.) for the chance at a VIP Packers Weekend Experience. While 287 brands and 100% of teams have a cause-related asset built into their NFL sponsorship agreements, only eight brands and 22% of NFL teams have a local and/or community charitable element in their sponsorship agreements. This local outreach is on brand with Pit Boss Grill’s integrity and values. 

Athletes as Influencers

Athletes, with their built-in fan bases, have always been influencers. But in today’s creator-driven economy, their impact is even greater. Pit Boss learned this firsthand through their relationship with Hailie Deegan of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. With her branded Instagram post, Pit Boss achieved 91,000 engagements, making it the company’s top-branded social post by over 70,000.

Pit Boss leveraged learnings from its partnership with Deegan when looking for players to augment the new NFL partnerships. They decided to sign agreements with Ravens legend Ed Reed and Packers running back Aaron Jones. This is the fourth endorsement deal for Reed and the 14th for Jones, and Pit Boss is excited to capitalize on the fan base and IP of both players. 

Kicking Off the New NFL Partnerships

Pit Boss is teaming up with both the Ravens and Packers to run a sweepstakes promoting the new NFL partnerships. This isn’t the first brand–rights holder partnership to use a chance-to-win strategy to ignite consumer interest and capture data. As a matter of fact, across all major pro sports, 1,148 brands have added a sweepstakes to their sponsorship asset mix. However, within brand–NFL partnerships, only 298 brands have included a sweepstakes as a part of their NFL sponsorship package, and Pit Boss is the only grill brand to engage consumers in this way.

To kick off the new partnerships, some lucky fans will win the ultimate game day experience: A catered tailgate party at the respective fields—M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore (hosted by retired Ravens legend Ed Reed) and Lambeau Field in Green Bay—complete with a delicious barbecue spread from Pit Boss Chef, game tickets and parking passes, a Pit Boss Pellet Grill and accessory package, an autographed jersey, and more.

*Both of these brand awareness numbers are from a NASCAR-sponsored survey of its fanbase.

All other numbers are proprietary first-party data from the SponsorUnited platform.

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