Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Supermarket Teamwork: Sponsoring Gators, 'Noles; Winn-Dixie Chain Forms Partnership after Ending Its Deal with Jaguars

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Supermarket Teamwork: Sponsoring Gators, 'Noles; Winn-Dixie Chain Forms Partnership after Ending Its Deal with Jaguars

Article excerpt

Byline: Drew Dixon

Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie supermarkets is getting back into big-time football in Florida with a new sponsorship deal and the latest move puts them in the college ranks.

Winn-Dixie officials announced this week that the grocery store chain will be the "official and exclusive" supermarket sponsor for both the University of Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles. The move comes more than a year after Winn-Dixie ended its longstanding sponsorship with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The college sponsorship coordinates advertising and promotions with about 400 Florida-based Winn-Dixie stores.

The partnership calls for a "prominent presence" of Winn-Dixie at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville where the Gators play and Doak Campbell Stadium where the Seminoles play. The company also gets use of both schools' logos in advertising and promotional materials, a news release said.

In addition, the deal will involve Winn-Dixie advertising at pre-game tailgating events outside the stadiums.

The accord between Winn-Dixie and the colleges goes beyond football: It also includes a Winn-Dixie presence inside basketball and baseball venues and will feature advertisements in radio broadcasts.

While Winn-Dixie ended the association with the Jaguars last year, the deal with UF and FSU may have more reach considering FSU won the NCAA FBS National Championship in January.

"Given how large our footprint is in Florida and how diverse the markets are within the state, we believe that few things resonate more with most Floridians than Gator and Seminole sports," said Mary Kellmanson, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Winn-Dixie.

"By partnering with these schools, we will be able to make more meaningful connections with the large population of UF and FSU fans across the state and throughout the southeast," Kellerman said. …

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