3 day celebration around the Major League Baseball All-Star game in Minneapolis featuring food from the best restaurants in Minneapolis/St. Paul and a Hot Dog Derby with a handful of the best chefs across the country.
Create a three day culinary-focused experience, within MLB Sponsor Zone, during the All-Star Game in Minneapolis for Major League Baseball and Pepsi.
As part of the MLB All-Star Summer Pepsi Block Party, The Connect Group curated a three day culinary program to align with the Futures Game, Home Run Derby and All-Star Game. TCG wrapped ve (5) existing Food trucks with MLB/Pepsi branding and served food from some of the best chefs and restaurants in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region. Serving lunch (12 -2pm) and pre-game dinner 3pm-7pm), we featured ve different restaurants/chefs each session, all of whom offered up tasty bites inspired by the All-Star Game and Major League Baseball. While the majority of the chefs were local, we did bring in several nationally-recognized chefs to amplify the messaging, PR and add an extra level of engagement. These chefs included:
Andrew Zimmern (Minneapolis, MN) - Host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods
Nicholas Elmi (Philadelphia, PA) - Winner, Top Chef Season 11
Bryan Caswell (Houston, TX) - Food & Wine Best New Chef, 2009
Graham Elliot (Chicago, IL) - Judge, MasterChef
Michelle Bernstein (Miami, FL) - James Beard Award Winner
On Monday, July 14th, in advance of the Gillette Home Run Derby, we created a MLB Hot Dog Derby competition. Chefs Zimmern, Elmi, Caswell, Elliot, and the Taste of Target Field Truck all created their own one-of-a-kind hot dogs to be judged by fans and a panel of judges that included St.Paul Magazine restaurant critic Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, Dwight “Doc” Gooden, a four-time MLB All-Star and three-time World Series champion and Ted from Minneapolis (fan from the crowd).
First culinary specific sponsor activation executed by Major League Baseball
In addition to Celebrity chefs, we featured more than 20 of the best Minneapolis/St. Paul chefs and restaurants
MLB and Pepsi were thrilled with the increased level of engagement and lifestyle dimension the culinary component brought to the table
More than 35,000 visited the MLB All-Star Summer Pepsi Block party
Competition between celebrity chefs for the coveted Hot Dog Derby trophy garnered millions of impressions via twitter
Generated incremental media awareness from non-sports publications including multiple “foodie” outlets
Initial year of culinary offering laid the groundwork for future programs to take life in a bigger and more comprehensive manner