NBA Philadelphia 76ers Sign Australian Meat Pie Brand Four'N Twenty
NBA Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons "is part of a push to convince Americans to eat Aussie meat pies," according to Peter Rolfe of the HERALD SUN. Four'N Twenty "netted a deal" with the 76ers and will use Simmons' "star status in the world’s most popular basketball league to try and crack" the U.S. market. Aussie pies will be sold alongside hot dogs, popcorn and peanuts for the first time. Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said that he would "like to bring the team to Melbourne to play an NBA game." Brown, who spent 17 years in Australia and coached the national team, said that Simmons playing in the first NBA game on Australian soil "would be a win for Melbourne." Brown predicted Americans would fall in love with pies, with "the market there to penetrate." He said, "It’s such a part of the Australian culture. What the hot dog is to America, the meat pie is to Australia." Pies were advertised at 76ers home games for the first time over the weekend and Four’N Twenty CEO Paul Hitchcock said that the three-year deal was "just a first step." He said, "Four'N Twenty would love to help fulfill Ben Simmons and other Australian basketball fans' dream to have an NBA game in Australia" (HERALD SUN, 11/20). In Philadelphia, John George reported the deal was signed by the Sixers and Patties Foods, an Australian company that makes the Four'N Twenty pies. Beef pies -- "premium beef spiked with a gravy in a flaky pastry shell -- are the best-selling sports concession item in Australia." Last year, 21 million Four’N Twenty beef pies, pasties and sausage rolls were sold worldwide and Four'N Twenty has the "largest market share" of the frozen beef pie industry at 22%. The deal is Four’N Twenty’s first sponsorship of a professional sports team in the U.S. Sixers President Chris Heck said, "We love the idea of helping a strong Australian brand like Four’N Twenty enter the U.S. market. This is a fun, authentic partnership that allows both of our brands to reach new markets." Financial terms of the deal "are being kept confidential" (PHILADELPHIA BUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/20).