No trip to a ballgame is complete without a hot dog or two; depending on the final score, that might be the highlight of the game. One of the most iconic ballpark meals is the Fenway Frank, as any Boston Red Sox fan will tell you.
Kayem Foods, the maker of the Fenway Frank, has a history almost as storied as the Sox. The company was started by Kazimierz Monkiewicz in 1909 after he emigrated from his native Poland to Chelsea, Mass. More than 100 years later, it has grown from a simple meat market to the largest meat processor in New England. Along with its franks, Kayem produces over 100 varieties of hot dogs and 300 varieties of deli meats, sausage and dinner hams. One of the company’s brands, al fresco, is the top chicken sausage brand in the country.
Kayem’s partnership with the Boston Red Sox is just one of numerous partnerships with sports teams, across all leagues up and down the East Coast. Along with the Red Sox, Kayem has partnered with the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball, the New England Patriots and Washington Redskins of the National Football League and the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League. Additionally, the company has several minor-league and college sponsorships.
“Sponsorships are a great way to introduce the Kayem brand and quality products to a new audience,” says Bob Kufferman, Kayem senior brand manager. “We support the teams by providing great-tasting products that help deliver the best possible game day experience.”
Kufferman notes that these sports partnerships are mutually beneficial. The teams get quality franks, sausages and other products to sell in their stadiums, and Kayem gets exposure to thousands of fans on a regular basis. The company can also take that partnership into the retail market and sell franks and sausages with the team logos on the packages.
“Partnering with brands who share passionate fans allows us to deliver top brand activation and a quality product experience,” he says. “We find that fans look to recreate their game-day experience outside of the stadium. When able to purchase at retail, fans are able to bring the taste of the stadium into their own backyard.”
Every sponsorship is customized to meet the needs of the team and the Kayem brand. The agreement with the Rays, for example, includes a beef hot dog, a foot-long hot dog, a beef kid’s dog and an Italian sausage. Along with the Fenway Frank, Kayem also produces and distributes a Sweet Italian Fenway Sausage throughout New England.
“Every opportunity is evaluated based on strategic fit, distribution and power of the brand,” Kufferman says. “To create a successful partnership, it’s important to maintain the commitment to deliver the best possible game experience for the fans. Developing programs that benefit both partners are important to fostering a strong partnership.”
While Kayem Foods began as a local meat market, the partnerships with sports teams have helped the company grow its brand beyond its New England home.
“We will continue to expand the footprint of the Kayem brand throughout the U.S.,” Kufferman says, “so that sports fans from all regions can enjoy the top-quality products that Kayem provides.”