The Canadian Football League is adding some beef to its games with a new partnership with Canada Beef Inc.
The three-year deal will allow provincial beef producer organizations to represent Canadian beef farmers and ranchers at CFL games. The idea is to give consumers the opportunity to meet the people who raise beef and bring it to their tables.
The goal is to build loyalty and connect with Canadians at a grassroots level, said Rob Meijer, president of Canada Beef. “It’s more than just a sponsorship,” he said. “It’s easy to just pay money and put your logo on the field… This is about [being in] the real communities where our producers work and live and connecting with our customers in the urban centres, and it’s all about a game that they love.”
Five provincial organizations—BC Cattlemen’s Association, Alberta Beef Producers, Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, Manitoba Beef Producers and Beef Farmers of Ontario—will have the opportunity to host game-day events such as “Canadian Beef Producer Recognition Day.”
One beef farmer or rancher family will be recognized at home games for their contribution to the province’s beef industry. The organizations will encourage all beef farmers and ranchers to join them at the game, where they will meet with fans and talk about raising cattle, the nutritional benefits of beef and why beef is a great protein choice for tailgate party menus.
“It’s a chance for producers to mingle and interact with fans of the CFL, but they’re also our customers. They are people who live in the communities and they have families,” said Meijfer. “For us, it’s not just about a sale… The more people interact with our farmers and producers, the better they understand our ethics and our guiding principles.”
Meijer said the current program is just the beginning and Canada Beef will work on developing more regionalized and local opportunities. For example, the organization might partner with local CFL teams on community service, charitable giving or volunteering. “It’s about taking it grassroots and connecting our producers with the people who matter,” he said.