Thursday, December 2, 2021

Chipotle is Kraken


Seattle has a new National Hockey League team called the Kraken.  There is no doubt that while the Kraken team is not winning as much as they would like.  What they have done is driven new electricity into the National Hockey League according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Johnson stated “sales of hockey merchandise, tickets, and TV viewership continue to grow driving new electricity.”

So, it can come a no surprise to anyone that, Chipotle Mexican Grill announced it has signed a multiyear North American partnership to become the official Mexican-themed quick service and Mexican-themed fast-casual restaurant of the National Hockey League. So, this marks Chipotle’s largest sports sponsorship to date and the first time the brand has been an official sponsor of a major professional sports league. A growing national branded restaurant is a perfect fit for a growing sport.

Now as an official partner of the NHL, Chipotle will have brand presence at one of the NHL’s tentpole events during each year of the partnership, which includes the NHL Winter Classic, NHL Stadium Series, NHL All-Star Game, and NHL Heritage Classic. In addition, the Chipotle logo will be featured in a corner in-ice brand position for every game during the Stanley Cup Playoffs throughout the partnership.

Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer at Chipotle, stated, “Whether it’s picking up burritos on the way to the rink or celebrating a win with teammates post-game, Chipotle’s real food has long fueled hockey players and fans alike,” …“To complement our existing hockey relationships, we’re now supporting the highest level of the sport and a league that continues to grow its passionate fanbase at an accelerated pace.”

Now Chipotle has renewed its long-standing partnership with USA Hockey through 2023. Since 2018, Chipotle has been the title sponsor of the Chipotle USA Hockey Youth National Championships and supported the men’s and women’s U.S. National Hockey Teams as well as the Junior National Team who feature the Chipotle logo on their uniforms in select international tournaments.

U.S. Hockey Women’s National Team members Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield, along with NHL players Charlie McAvoy and Jack Hughes make up Chipotle’s roster of star hockey talent on Team Chipotle. The players will help the brand promote the USA Hockey Youth National Championships, participate in future hockey-centric brand campaigns, and make appearances at Chipotle-sponsored Player Development Camps.

Did you know that Chipotle launched new “Unwrapped” videos starring Knight and Coyne Schofield to celebrate its commitment to the game? The content gives fans an inside look into the players’ training routines and how their go-to orders at Chipotle help keep them on track. Chipotle’s “Real Food For Real Athletes” platform is focused on helping athletes of all levels perform their best by providing proper nutrition through real food and real ingredients.

According to Johnson, “Brand relevance is in part driven with innovation in new food products in combination with new avenues of distribution all of which are the platform for the new electricity.” 

Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, developing brands, unique urban clothing, grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.

All retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different. 

Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.

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