Procter & Gamble Commits $2M To Reds Urban Youth Academy Set To Open In '15
Procter & Gamble has committed $2M to the Reds and the Reds Community Fund’s Urban Youth Academy. The facility will be a baseball and softball training facility in Cincinnati that provides free, year-round instruction for boys and girls ages 6-18 from the Greater Cincinnati area. The complex will include four renovated fields and a 33,000-square-foot building featuring batting cages, pitching tunnels and a full indoor field. Groundbreaking will be next year with project completion expected in '15. The Reds Urban Youth Academy is modeled after MLB academies in Compton, Ca., Houston, Philadelphia and New Orleans (Reds). Reds COO Phil Castellini said that the Reds Urban Youth Academy is "modeled after the Reds' spring training complex in Goodyear, Ariz." In Cincinnati, Lisa Bernard-Kuhn reported more than $1.5M of P&G's commitment "will go toward fund raising for the academy, which will be built in two phases." The remainder "will be used for 'activating' 10 P&G brands at the fan zone in Great American Ball Park: Tide, Charmin, Bounty, Pampers, Cascade, Febreze, Downy, Swiffer, Dawn and Bounce." Castellini said that "aside from marketing displays and signs at the ballpark, P&G will use the fan zone for product samplings, promotions and focus-group questionnaires." P&G VP/North America Marketing & Brand Operations Jodi Allen said that the investment marks P&G’s "largest ever with the Reds," made "possible thanks in large part to The Kroger Co.’s commitment to partner with P&G on an in-store retail plan, also set for 2013" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 10/7).
ANNOUNCEMENT COMING TOMORROW: In Cincinnati, Dan Monk reports the Reds will announce P&G's expanded sponsorship with "new signs" at tomorrow night's Giants-Reds NLDS Game Three. Retail promos as part of the new five-year deal "will include a 'You Save. They Play' campaign in which donations will be made to the Urban Youth Academy when specific P&G brands are purchased." The campaign will be available at Kroger supermarkets "within a 150-mile radius of Cincinnati." Castellini said that the Reds "have been talking to P&G about expanding sponsorship ties since 2008." Monk notes several P&G brands "have signed mostly one-year deals with the team before now." The new deal comes with "permanent naming rights on the Urban Youth Academy project" (CINCINNATI BUSINESS COURIER, 10/5 issue).