Merita, Southeastern Conference in partnership

by Eric Schroeder
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ATLANTA — Hostess Brands, Inc. has reached an agreement with the Southeastern Conference under which Merita will become the official bread of the S.E.C. and all S.E.C. Championship events through June 2013.

“The Merita brand — just like the S.E.C. — has been part of Southern culture for generations,” said Ann Oades, director of marketing for Merita bread. “Merita is thrilled to be the official bread of the S.E.C. as we celebrate nearly 110 years as a Southeastern family favorite and look forward to meeting our families’ needs for the next 100 years.”

Under terms of the partnership, Merita will receive official corporate sponsor status, including category exclusive use of conference logos, marketing rights, S.E.C. television and web presence, event signs, and merchandise. The company also will have a category exclusive presence at the Dr Pepper S.E.C. FanFare during the conference’s annual football championship weekend and men’s basketball tournament.

Hostess earlier this month announced several innovation and marketing-related initiatives to its Merita brand, including the launch of two new bread varieties: Merita Smartwhite and Merita Made with Whole Grain White.

In addition to the new bread varieties, Hostess is launching a new Merita advertising campaign that the company said “captures classic Southern moments paired with delicious sandwiches made with Merita bread.” The advertising features the brand’s first major packaging update in more than three decades. Merita bread now features a new logo, richer colors and design and the Merita “Quality Guarantee,” which reminds consumers that Merita guarantees the quality and fresh baked taste of every loaf.

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