Fresh off of sponsorship programs with U.S. Olympic swim and volleyball teams, Blue Diamond Almonds upped its game to include a California NBA team.
Beginning with the 2017 season the Sacramento Kings will sport the Blue Diamond Almond logo on player jerseys as part of a campaign by the grower-owned cooperative to promote its brand.
Al Greenlee, director of marketing for Blue Diamond Almonds, says the program is part of a shared effort to boost the Blue Diamond brand and help promote the capital city’s “Farm to Fork” program.
Farm to Fork is an effort created a few years ago to promote food at local restaurants produced within 150 miles of Sacramento.
According to a statement from the Sacramento Kings, the partnership highlights the shared vision the Kings and Blue Diamond have for showcasing the best of California in a global marketplace. This includes California’s rich agricultural production and the human investment in health and wellness by consuming California almonds.
“We are proud of this community’s history of high-quality agriculture (and is) why we’ve committed to supporting local producers by using locally sourced food in our arena,” said Kings President Chris Grander in a prepared statement.
Blue Diamond Growers is a Sacramento-based, vertically-integrated cooperative with more than 3,000 grower members who produce the almonds that become flavored nuts, beverages, and snack items. The partnership with the Kings could reap a harvest of benefits for growers beyond a can a week.
Greenlee says Blue Diamond’s visibility will extend beyond the jersey logo. The Blue Diamond Almond Breeze logo will appear on the court apron below visitor and home team benches. These signs are sure to be captured by cameras broadcasting games to a national audience.
“We felt this was a good strategic fit for us to promote the healthy aspect of almonds,” Greenlee says.
A recent ruling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration now allows almonds to be called “healthy” because of their level of “good” monounsaturated fats and high fiber content.
“This innovative partnership helps us to clearly connect our global Blue Diamond and Almond Breeze brands with elite, professional athletes to inspire healthier lifestyles,” said Blue Diamond CEO Mark Jansen in a statement released by the Kings.
The announcement comes as the Kings move into their new home at the Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento, putting fans close to a host of popular restaurants that feature California-grown products, though fans won’t have to go that far as food from nearby farms will be on the menu inside the new arena.
The marketing effort should not only benefit Blue Diamond’s grower members by putting products made from their almonds prominently in front of millions of consumers. By leveraging Sacramento’s Farm to Fork efforts, which seek to showcase food produced on California farms, perhaps the message of California agriculture can find a larger stage that will drive positive consumer opinions and public policy to help reverse the legislative and regulatory damage agriculture faces from offices 10 blocks up the street.