Hormel Smokes March Madness Basketball Courts For 'Hardcourt' Bacon


Maple wood used to construct March Madness basketball courts also yields smoked bacon in the latest limited-time offering from Hormel Foods’ Black Label brand.

It’s a sports-related marketing initiative for what Hormel describes as “the most elite smoked meat ever,” called Hardcourt in a partnership with March Madness courts provider Connor Sports.

This commercial explains how Connor Sports fells cherry maple trees in upper Michigan before cutting them into boards that are assembled to become the playing surfaces used at March Madness venues.

Hormel took pieces trimmed from the ends of individual boards and used them to smoke strips of Hardcourt bacon.

As a result, this year fans can go beyond just living and breathing college hoops to actually “tasting” victory, according to Nick Schweitzer, senior brand manager for Hormel Black Label.



“Using the real hardwood from the most elite floors in college basketball to smoke our bacon gave us a real opportunity to connect with tourney-hungry fans,” Schweitzer tells Marketing Daily.

Until March 20, people can register online to win one of 68 prizes—each of which includes a package of Hardcourt bacon, wood chips and a “certificate of authenticity” plus coupons for Black Label products.,

Hormel says the approximate retail value of a prize is $50.

Connor Sports has been the “official court” of the men’s and women’s NCAA March Madness competitions and the Final Four since 2006.

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