Chevron, AdSport Cook Up Gas Station Food Contest

Football fans are known for loading up with chips and beer at their local gas station before a game. Now, Chevron wants to see if they can transform convenience store items into homemade mouthwatering treats.

Developed by agency AdSport, Chevron's Game Day Chef Challenge invites entrants to submit their go-to game day recipe, with a hook -- it must include a food or beverage item purchased from a Chevron or Texaco station. 

"We thought that football fans love food so it would be a great combination," says Gary Knudson, CEO, AdSport. "Sports sponsorships are no longer just for branding, they need to drive business."

Chevron sought a promotion that raised brand awareness and increased traffic at its retail locations, but went beyond the standard stadium naming rights. While Chevron has sponsorships all throughout college and pro football, its sponsorship agency of record, AdSport, focused on the Pac-12 to launch this particular promotion. 

Thus the season-long effort runs in Arizona, Washington, California, and Oregon. There are currently over 8,000 Chevron and Texaco branded locations in the U.S., including 2,600 locations participating in the Game Day Chef Challenge. Videos running across social media channels help support the campaign.

The first round -- running through September 30 -- invites fans to submit an original recipe that includes one or more ingredients purchased at a Chevron or Texaco station. Contestants must include a photo of the proof of purchase of the food or beverage items purchased from a Chevron or Texaco station, which has thus far proven to be the most challenging aspect of the promotion. "We have gotten quite a few submissions where we can't read the receipt, so we have had to go back to ask them to send a clear photo," says Knudson. 

Entrants support their submissions via social media to solicit votes in order to rank in the top 15 for each region. Then, the fifteen recipes with the most number of votes from each region will be judged based on appearance, originality, creativity and the number of mandatory ingredients used to determine the five regional finalists who will compete in each regional cook-off. 

This second round regional cook-off will be a live one-hour competition before key college football games at Pac-12 schools USC, Stanford, Washington, Arizona State, and Oregon. 

The Game Day Chef Challenge brand ambassador is Bradley Hasemeyer, who will host the 5 regional cook-offs, as well as the grand finale cook-off. He is also appearing on local TV programs and making live appearances throughout the West Coast to raise consumer awareness. At the same time, local celebrities and former players will serve as judges at these events. 

Meanwhile, winners from each region will advance to the grand finale cook-off and compete to win the grand prize of $25,000 in “Chevron with Techron” promotional cards at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, CA. "We wanted to make the grand prize compelling. Depending on your car, that is likely to be 10 years’ worth of gas. Anyone can win. It doesn't take an incredible skill set," says Knudson. 

Although this year's promotion is only on the West Coast, it is expected to go national next year. "We wanted to test it first to see how it runs and what the response is. We have all intentions of making it national," says Knudson. The launch video can be seen here.

AdSport has worked with Chevron for more than 10 years. The 20-year-old agency specializes in developing sponsored events and branded promotions. Other notable clients include Texaco and State Farm.
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