Market Overview

Eckrich® Launches into a Two-year Partnership with the Florida Gators at the Start of the 2018 College Football Season


SMITHFIELD, Va., Aug. 29, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eckrich®, the makers of naturally hardwood smoked sausage, and Gator IMG Sports Marketing have announced a two-year partnership for Eckrich to become the Official Smoked Sausage of the Florida Gators. 

Eckrich & Florida Gators Partnership
Eckrich® Launches into a Two-year Partnership with the Florida Gators at the Start of the 2018 College Football Season

Eckrich and the Gators will highlight the official partnership throughout the football season to inspire Gator fans to tailgate or homegate with Eckrich smoked sausage. Eckrich will have a presence across Florida's social, digital, radio, and TV platforms and will offer local consumers opportunities to win tickets to a select game throughout the season.

For the first time, Eckrich will host the $1 Million Challenge at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium as part of their Road to the National Championship sweepstakes. The feature game will take place on October 6th when the Gators will host LSU. Fans can visit to register for their chance to go on-field and throw for one million dollars during a break in the game action.

"We are incredibly excited to be the Official Smoked Sausage of the Florida Gators," said Mike Paribello, senior marketing director Smithfield Foods. "College Football is a deep-rooted passion for consumers across generations and brings friends and families together each and every Saturday to celebrate their favorite team around the foods they love. Eckrich is excited to be at the center of that celebration. The Gators are one of the most premier college football programs in the country and have an incredibly passionate fan base. We look forward to connecting Eckrich with Gator students, alumni, fans and families in the coming season."

"We are thrilled to have Eckrich as a partner for the next two years," said Lee Douglas, General Manager, Florida IMG Sports Marketing, the Gators' property rights holder.  "Eckrich is a perfect fit for Gator fans as our fanbase is among the best in the country when it comes to hosting tailgates or any time fans get together to watch the Gators play."

For more information about the brand's season-long activities and the Road to the National Championship sweepstakes visit For more information about Eckrich, please visit or follow Eckrich on Facebook and Twitter.

Eckrich is also the Official Smoked Sausage and Deli Meat Sponsor of The College Football Playoff (CFP).

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF SPECIFIC STATES WITHIN THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C.) WHO ARE THE AGE OF MAJORITY IN THEIR STATE OF RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF ENTRY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sweepstakes ends 12/20/18. For Official Rules, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit The $1,000,000 prize will be awarded as a 40-year annuity for which the winner will receive $25,000 annually for 40 years. Sponsor: Smithfield Packaged Meats Sales Corp., 4225 Naperville Rd., Lisle, IL 60532.

About Eckrich
Founded by Peter Eckrich in 1894, Eckrich has a rich heritage starting from a small meat market in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to one of the most recognized regional premium deli and meat brands on the market today. Through it all, Eckrich meats have been recognized for their great taste and supreme quality, craftsmanship, care, and pride. For more information, visit Eckrich is a brand of Smithfield Foods, Inc.

About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan's Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook's®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly's®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus® and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety, and quality programs. For more information, visit, and connect with us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

About University of Florida
The University Athletic Association Inc. (UAA) is a Direct Support Organization of the University of Florida and is governed by a Board of Directors. The UAA was incorporated in 1929 and today is home to 21 Gator athletic teams (12 female and 9 male squads), more than 500 student-athletes and 350-plus full-time employees. The UAA's mission is to provide a championship experience with integrity on and off the field for student-athletes and the Gator Nation.  The Florida athletic program has ranked among the nation's top 10 for 35-straight years and among the top five for 20 of the last 27 years, according to national all-sport rankings. UF has captured 40 national championships and is one of three programs to claim at least one national title in each of the last 10 seasons. Florida has won the Southeastern Conference All-Sports Trophy 28 times, including each of the last 12. The Gators have won 247 conference team championships, including a league-best 240 in the SEC. UF student athletes posted an 83 percent graduation rate in fall 2017 NCAA Federal Graduation Rate Data.

About the College Football Playoff
The College Football Playoff matches the No. 1 seed vs. No. 4, and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in semifinal games that rotate annually among six bowl games – the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. This season's Playoff Semifinals will take place Saturday, December 29, 2018, at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and Capital One Orange Bowl. The College Football Playoff National Championship will be Monday, January 7, 2019, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Hunter PR on behalf of Eckrich
Megan Milano
(212) 679-6600

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