Jan 06, 2010 at 12:11 PM
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KFC Cooks Up Fire Safety Sponsorship For Cities

KFC is launching another municipal sponsorship campaign on the heels of its pothole repair program - this time taking aim at fire safety.

To help cities pay for fire safety repairs and improvements during difficult economic times, KFC today unveiled an advertising campaign to bring the brand's logo to neighborhood fire hydrants and fire extinguishers in public buildings. Designed to launch KFC's new Fiery Grilled Wings, the campaign aims to support the issue of fire prevention and safety.

"With January being the peak month for residential fires, KFC wanted to raise awareness about this important issue and launch our new KFC Fiery Grilled Wings by supporting local fire departments nationwide," said Javier Benito, executive vice president of marketing and food innovation for KFC. "This unique marketing concept will help pay for new fire extinguishers and fire hydrants in cities in exchange for branding the equipment with Fiery Grilled Wings logos."

KFC has already cooked up a test pilot of the program to get it rolling.

In Brazil, Ind., 85 fire hydrants needed repairs the city couldn't afford due to budget constraints. KFC repaired hydrants while also branding them with the KFC and Fiery Grilled Wings logos.

"Brazil has been faced with budget constraints for several years, and unfortunately, fire hydrant maintenance has suffered because of them," said Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw. "We're thrilled that KFC recognizes that cities are being forced to make these difficult decisions and has stepped up to help us."

Just over 60 miles east along I-70, KFC teamed up with Third Street Partners to provide Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard with branded residential smoke detectors as well as branded fire extinguishers for gyms and recreation centers throughout the city.

Creative public/private partnerships have become a mainstay in Indiana's capitol city and have served as a way for many municipal agencies to overcome budget shortfalls. Third Street Partners represents the City of Indianapolis as it seeks to create revenue-generating public/private partnerships for the city.

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, KFC will use images of Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Harland Sanders with Indianapolis firefighters and city fire trucks to help market the launch of fiery grilled chicken wings, later this month.

Additionally, KFC issued an open offer to mayors nationwide, asking them to describe their need for fire extinguishers and hydrants in their community. Three other lucky cities will receive KFC's assistance.

"Public safety is job one in Indianapolis," said Mayor Ballard. "Cities everywhere are working to overcome budget challenges, and partnerships like this one with KFC offer a welcome opportunity to support important fire prevention and safety efforts."

KFC's first private/public partnership began last spring when the brand issued an open offer to mayors of cities nationwide asking them to describe their city streets' state of disrepair. Four cities from coast to coast received KFC-refreshed potholes, branded via a large stencil that read "Re-Freshed by KFC" in eye-catching, but non-permanent street chalk. The unique marketing campaign attracted worldwide attention.

"We are always looking for outside-the-bucket marketing ideas," Benito added. "Much like our 'Re-Freshed by KFC' pothole repair program that promoted our fresh chicken, this partnership was tailor-made for our new Fiery Grilled Wings."

Here's KFC's open letter to mayors:

January 6, 2010

Dear Mayor:

As you know first hand, city budgets across the country are under fire as leaders are forced to make tough decisions about how to assign limited public funding. Often these tight budgets make funding for public services such as fire safety and prevention more difficult to come by.

Add to this the fact that in 2008 property loss due to fires was estimated at $15.5 billion and that January is the peak month for residential fires and the topic of fire safety really starts to heat up as it gets cold across the country.

All of this has the KFC Colonel and his crew fired up to improve America's safety. In honor of our new Fiery Grilled Wings, we are offering fire safety improvements, via fire hydrant repairs or fire extinguisher replacements for communities across the country. And, because the Colonel has become an expert on all things fiery with the introduction of KFC's new Fiery Grilled Wings, he'll provide his stamp of approval on each and every hydrant or extinguisher he replaces or helps repair.

Is your city feeling the heat? We invite you to tell us why we should help you extinguish the problem in your community. KFC will be accepting funding requests until January 28 and will announce the winning cities shortly after.

KFC has been bringing communities together around the dinner table for more than 50 years. We invite you and your city to become a part of a new tradition and accept our offer to help improve fire safety in your city. Together, we can provide a safer winter for your community.



To respond to this offer*, please contact:

Rick Maynard, KFC, (502) 874-8100, rick.maynard@kfc.com

Kelly Felter, Weber Shandwick, (312) 988-2027, kfelter@webershandwick.com

* KFC can only respond and dispatch crews to a limited number of cities and must reserve the right to select cities based on response.