The Washington State Beef Commission is re-evaluating its marketing relationship with Washington State University football after school officials decided to discontinue its annual game in Seattle, the organization’s executive director says.
The commission has based a marketing push on the annual Seattle game. WSU’s football game against Rutgers University Aug. 28 is its last in Seattle for the foreseeable future, WSU athletic director Bill Moos told the Capital Press.
WSU, which normally plays at its Pullman, Wash., campus across the state, held its first football game in Seattle in 2002.
Moos cited the university’s television deals and investments in facilities on the WSU campus as reasons for ending the Seattle game.
“We have all of that investment into Martin Stadium, and just feel that’s where we should be playing our games now,” Moos said.
Washington’s beef industry has used the game to promote itself in Western Washington.
Washington State Beef Commission Executive Director Patti Brumbach said sponsorship of the Seattle game was one element of the commission’s Beef for Tailgating campaign, typically capping off four weeks of promotions with Certified Angus Beef and QFC grocery stores.
“It’s been important, it’s given us a lot of great exposure and pre-game advertising as well as game day advertising,” she said.
Last year, Brumbach estimated the four-week, $180,000 promotion made about 20 million consumer impressions.
This year, the “Beef for Tailgating” promotion will continue through September at QFC stores. The buildup to the game coincides with summer grilling campaigns.
The commission is advertising on food websites, social media and Pandora Internet Radio, Brumbach said.
Brumbach said the commission was aware that WSU was considering ending the Seattle game.
Brumbach said the commission board will have to evaluate its next steps and consider future alternatives with WSU football. The board will look at all its options and keep them wide open, she said.
“As a cattleman myself, I’m hoping that partnership continues,” Moos said. “We certainly hope we still have something that’s appealing to them and we will be in discussions here shortly.”
Moos and his wife have a certified Angus cattle ranch in Valleyford, Wash., typically raising 15 head.