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Bark In the Park Is A Homerun for Central Pet

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Central Pet is an example of a company in the pet industry that is committed to making a difference in the world through its marketing efforts. This year, the company will focus on expanding its popular, “Bark in the Park” program by partnering with some of the most popular baseball teams and exciting animal rescues in the business.

Bark in the Park events allows dogs to join in the fun with their owners by experiencing the all-American fun of a baseball game. Fans can purchase a ticket for their dogs, join in on the pre-game pup rally, march in a parade and spend the day relaxing at the ballpark. Nearly 600 dogs and their families typically participate in these popular events, officials said.

By integrating nontraditional marketing activities with companion brands for dogs and cats, Central Pet can use the sports and entertainment forums to get its products in front of families who have, or are thinking about adopting, a pet.

Through these marketing efforts, Central Pet is able to  encourage higher adoption rates, increase product sales and to get the word out about new products.

“Central has a long history with Major League Baseball as the official pet products partner and sponsor of Bark in the Park events with various teams since 2005,” Jim Heim, president, business development at Central Garden & Pet, said. “This season, we are looking to create a winning combination for our brands and business partners by bringing these unique and wonderful events to teams across the country.

Baseball is still America’s pastime and the most family-friendly professional sport. By partnering with teams, we are able to sample products, build awareness and affinity for our brands, and promote responsible pet ownership, adoption and animal welfare to pet-loving families who also love baseball.”

This season, Central Pet plans to expand across eight franchises by adding 8-10 teams to its Bark in the Park schedule.  Central Pet plans to showcase products from the AvoDerm and Nylabone channels, and will be partnering with nonprofit animal rescue groups like Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF).

La Russa, a retired Major League Baseball manager and coach, founded ARF in 1991 to address the needs of companion animals by not only aiding abandoned and homeless animals, but promoting the idea that people’s lives can be enhanced by strengthening the bonds between humans and animals.

“We are thrilled to partner with Central Garden & Pet this season to help bring Bark in the Park events to thousands of families and our message to millions of Americans,” La Russa, who also serves as ARF’s chariman, said. “Central is a long-time supporter of ARF’s mission to save dogs and cats who have run out of time at public shelters, and bring people and animals together to enrich each other’s lives. Our ties to baseball obviously run deep and this partnership combines two of my favorite passions … baseball and pets.”

- Stacy Mantle

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