Working closely with the University of Kentucky and the Kroger team, we set out to create a partnership that directly impacted Kroger’s customers, the University of Kentucky fan base, and the community. From the outset, it was clear that a partnership between these two brands needed to reflect the values of these institutions and amplify the Kroger brand and its commitment to the University of Kentucky. The goal was to create a partnership that provided national exposure, regional media reach, and local community impact ultimately providing value for Kroger’s customers and driving sales.
As a result, we set out to develop a comprehensive partnership that not only included renaming the University of Kentucky football stadium Kroger Field and traditional media assets, but also created meaningful opportunity for the brand to connect with fans, students, and members of the community. While renaming the football stadium made a significant statement signaling Kroger’s commitment to UK Athletics, it was important to ensure the brand was showing up in the community throughout the year, creating 1:1 touchpoints that complimented and augmented their stadium investment.
When JMI Sports embarked on the development of this partnership with Kroger, the goal was to deliver well beyond the naming of a stadium. These elements deeply integrated Kroger’s engagement through out the athletics programs, the campus and the community.
The Kroger brand is integrated into the fabric of the UK football stadium. Exterior signage illuminates the stadium in the blue that is shared by the UK and Kroger brands. Field logos, videoboard signage, branded entrances and concessions stands compliment the co-branding efforts throughout the stadium.
At each UK football home game, Kroger hosts nearly 1000 fans to develop a complete fan experience for Kroger customers in a tailgate setting.
Kroger committed resources to upgrade the Big Blue Pantry on UK’s campus. The Big Blue Pantry provides food to students with food insecurities, and Kroger has committed significant resources each year to help minimize food insecurity among our most vulnerable community members.
Each year, a $25k grant is awarded to a local community youth program to improve the experience for young people in youth sports programs.
During move-in week each year, Kroger hosts a student shopping event for new students to UK’s campus. Students are brought to the nearest Kroger location, where they share a shopping experience highlighted by partner activations throughout the store.