- Claussen, Kraft Heinz’s pickle brand, was the exclusive sponsor of a two-hour sports comedy, “Pickled,” which aired Nov. 17, according to details shared with Marketing Dive. The show included a star-studded pickleball game that aired on CBS and Paramount+.
- Claussen provided free pickles to everyone involved and played a central role in the mid-game recap, “The Claussen Crunch Time-Halftime Show”. The program was hosted by ‘The Late Show’ star Stephen Colbert, who playfully discussed the game’s results with analysts.
- The sporting event raised money for the non-profit Comic Relief and reflects the momentum behind pickleball as a link to marketers.
Overview of the dive:
Pickleball has a moment. It is currently the fastest growing sport in the United States, growing by 11.5% on average over the past five years, with a growth rate of 21.3% between 2019 and 2020 alone. As momentum builds, brands have increasingly begun to explore ways to tie into the game – though Claussen pickles are perhaps one of its most eligible suitors.
Designed to benefit a charitable cause, “Pickled” featured 16 celebrities, including Will Ferrell, Emma Watson, Max Greenfield, Daniel Dae Kim, Sugar Ray Leonard, Kelly Rowland and Dierks Bentley, among a host of others. Hosted by Colbert, the two-hour special showed the celebrities dueling on the court. The event was produced by Colbert’s production company Spartina, comedy studio Funny or Die and CBS Studios.
During the Claussen-sponsored halftime show, Colbert and analysts gathered in a branded space to discuss highlights from the first half. Additionally, a brief history of the sport was given during the State of The Pickle segment. The second exclusive sponsor of the special was OOFOS Active Recovery Shoes, which created the OOFOS Recovery Lounge which served as a pit station and location for post-match interviews.
Bringing Claussen together perhaps represents a new way to get involved in the game, although at this point there’s still a lot to explore. Recently, Molson Coors Vizzy became the first-ever official hard seltzer of the Professional Pickleball Association. Earlier this month, Anheuser-Busch InBev bought a Major League Pickleball team from the 2023 season.
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