The University of Iowa held a unique sporting event on Nov. 14 in Iowa City and the Iowa Pork Producers Association played a significant role in the record-breaking event.
The day started with “Grapple on the Gridiron” with the Hawkeyes hosting Oklahoma State in a dual wrestling meet on the field at Kinnick Stadium. A crowd of more than 42,000 witnessed the event, the largest crowd ever to see an NCAA dual wrestling meet.
The IPPA Public Relations Committee sponsored the wrestling meet and had logos and messaging on signs and message boards in the stadium during the event. IPPA also received a mention on the radio broadcast of the meet.
“We had excellent signage at the meet and we all know that people support companies/organizations that support them,” said IPPA District 8 Director and PR Committee member Heather Hora of Washington. “I can guarantee nobody walked out of there wondering who the sponsor was.”
The IPPA Promotions Committee had the pork industry’s We Care trailer in the Krause Family Plaza outside the stadium the entire day and more than 20 pork producers from Washington, Delaware, Hamilton and Tama counties promoted pork from “Takedown to Touchdown.” Fans had an opportunity to sample pork brats, loins and ham; register for prizes; and take the pork challenge.
“I thought we got a lot of exposure,” said Ken Ries, IPPA vice president of operations and NE Region director. “Countless people took the sample I offered then with some reservation then, after they tasted it, they would comment, ‘Hey, this is good. ‘What is it?’”
Producers engaged with fans starting in the morning before “Grapple on the Gridiron” until kickoff that evening for the football game between the Hawkeyes and the Minnesota Golden Gophers that drew 70,000 fans.
“The whole day was a huge success for pork,” said Hora.
It wasn’t bad for Iowa either. As you already know, Iowa defeated Minnesota, making it a clean sweep on the day.