SBD/June 26, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Health-Food Company Beyond Meat Sees Sports As Avenue To Draw Consumers

Beyond Meat, a California-based health-food company, is using sports sponsorships to help “convince red-blooded Americans to eat more plant-derived protein,” according to Sarah Nassauer of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The company recently "paid the Mets for access" to players to act as "taste-testers for a new plant-based protein burger" before a game against the Brewers at Citi Field. Mets P Jon Niese after tasting the burger asked, "So this has zero beef?" Mets C Anthony Recker wanted to know if it was "all naturally derived.” The company also “shelled out for ads in Citi Field and to pass out sliders to fans outside the stadium before that night's game.” Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said that the company hopes “using pro athletes to market its new burger appeals to both younger consumers and health-conscious boomers.” Nassauer reports through “personal connections,” the company has approached the Warriors, Seahawks, Clippers, NFL Giants, Yankees, and Patriots, hoping to “arrange taste tests similar to the Mets event or get players to try samples.” The taste test may even "produce an athlete sponsor.” Brown said that Mets 3B David Wright “plans to sign on as a spokesman in exchange for a small amount of Beyond Meat stock.” Brown added that a personal connection between a Beyond Meat employee and Wright's wife also “helped spur the deal” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/26).
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