WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Central Garden & Pet brands AvoDerm Natural Pet Foods and Nylabone are once again partnering with several Major League Baseball teams this season on a campaign to promote pet welfare and raise awareness about the powerful and important bond between people and their pets. Central has struck deals with seven teams including the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks. The highlight of the program is a series of Bark at the Park events at Major League Baseball stadiums where dogs can join their families in the fun and excitement of a baseball game. Fans will be able to purchase tickets for themselves and their dogs, join in a pre-game parade around the field, enjoy pet friendly activities and free product samples. On average, about 700 dogs and their families at each game will participate in these extremely popular events. The season-long program will include in-store messaging at local independent retailers, public service announcements, national PR and media, charitable fundraising and direct engagement with fans at ballparks across the country.
“There’s nothing more enjoyable than a night out with the family at a ballgame,” said Jim Heim, President of Business Development for Central Garden & Pet. “Most of the time though, that means leaving the family dog at home. Through our partnerships with Major League Baseball teams, that’s not the case for thousands of fans who, for one night at least, get to bring their entire family to a Bark at the Park game. It’s truly a wonderful experience and we are so proud to have been a part of this great program since 2005.”
Bark at the Park is also supported by the American Pet Products Association. The APPA’s Pets Add Life (PAL) campaign and Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) are featured components of the program’s key message that pets not only bring joy to our lives, but real value and scientifically proven benefits as well. Bob Vetere, APPA President and CEO added, “Bark at the Park gives us a great platform to tell people what pet owners instinctively already know. Having pets adds so much to our lives. Research shows that pets provide enormous benefits to people’s physical and mental health, ability to learn and in some cases, even function on a day-to-day basis. Whether it’s a specially trained service dog or a tank full of tropical fish, pets are important and valuable members of our families and our society. Bark at the Park helps showcase that in a fun and inclusive way.”
Hall of Fame manager and Chief Baseball Analyst and Advisor of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tony La Russa, returns as the program’s official Bark at the Park Ambassador and will help promote the program through a public service campaign at participating ballparks reminding fans of the win-win nature of having a pet and encouraging people to adopt a new pet or a pal for their current pet. La Russa is the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) who will again receive donations from Central Garden & Pet and the teams to support ARF’s many initiatives as part of the program.
“ARF is excited to partner with AvoDerm Natural Pet Foods, Nylabone and the American Pet Products Association again this season to help bring Bark at the Park events to thousands of families,” said La Russa. “Central Garden & Pet 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. We are especially honored this year to highlight how pets are helping bring strength and comfort to our military veterans, many of whom suffer from post-traumatic stress, as a result of their service. Along with many other groups, ARF’s Pets for Vets program pairs specially trained dogs with service men and women to assist them with their transition back into civilian life. Our ties to baseball obviously run deep and our commitment to people saving animals and animals saving people has never been stronger.”
While they did not invent bringing dogs to the game, Doug Nelson and Sam Peck of Echo Marketing like to think they re-invented and energized it to the point where it is now among the most popular promotions throughout Major League Baseball with more than 20 teams having dog friendly games in 2017. “There was only a handful of teams doing it when we started back in 2006,” said Nelson. “'You want to do what?', they’d say. But little by little we brought Bark at the Park to teams like the Dodgers, Rangers, Rockies, Mariners, A’s and Brewers and the teams all love it. It’s a ton of fun for the fans. We have parades, contests, video board features and special vendors catering just to the dogs. We’ve done almost a hundred of these events now, set a Guinness World Record, generated billions of impressions for our partners and created hundreds of thousands of priceless memories for fans and their pets.”
The first Bark at the Park event will take place at Dodger Stadium on Saturday May 20th when the Los Angeles Dodgers host the Miami Marlins and an estimated 600 dogs and their families. Tickets, which are expected to sell out quickly, for the first event and all the Bark at the Park games can be purchased through the teams’ official web sites.
About Central Garden & Pet
Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENT) (NASDAQ: CENTA) is a leading innovator, marketer and producer of quality branded products for the lawn & garden and pet supplies markets. Committed to new product innovation, our products are sold to specialty independent and mass retailers. Participating categories in Lawn & Garden include: Grass seed and the brands PENNINGTON, and THE REBELS; wild bird feed and the brand PENNINGTON; weed and insect control and the brands AMDRO, SEVIN, IRONITE and OVER-N-OUT; and decorative outdoor patio products under the PENNINGTON brand. We also provide a host of other regional and application-specific garden brands and supplies. Participating categories in Pet include: Animal health and the brands ADAMS and ZODIAC; aquatics and reptile and the brands AQUEON, CORALIFE and ZILLA; bird & small animal and the brands KAYTEE, Forti-Diet and CRITTER TRAIL; dog & cat and the brands TFH, NYLABONE, FOUR PAWS, IMS, CADET, DMC, SEGREST, PINNACLE and AVODERM; and equine and the brands FARNAM, HORSE HEALTH and VITAFLEX. We also provide a host of other application-specific pet brands and supplies. Central Garden & Pet Company is based in Walnut Creek, California, and has approximately 4,100 employees, primarily in North America. For additional information on Central Garden & Pet Company, including access to the Company's SEC filings, please visit the Company’s website at www.central.com .
About Nylabone Products
Nylabone Products is a respected producer of premium pet products, and the leader in safe, healthy chewing for over 50 years. Nylabone is a division of T.F.H. Publications, Inc., the world’s most distinguished publisher of high-quality care and training books for pets, and a founding member of the American Pet Products Manufacturing Association (APPMA). Nylabone is recognized for its excellence, quality, innovation and leadership in today’s pet industry. Its patented and patent-pending products are frequently industry award-winners. T.F.H./Nylabone is a subsidiary of Central Garden & Pet Company. For more information, visit www.nylabone.com .
About AvoDerm Natural Pet Food
Good health shows and it starts with the optimum nutrition of AvoDerm Natural dog and cat food recipes. Made with premium quality proteins and omega rich avocados, AvoDerm uses no fillers or animal by product meals and is manufactured in our own facility in Irwindale, California. Natural avocados are a rich source of the vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants that pets need for balanced nutrition, along with a healthy skin and coat. What our recipes do on the inside, shows on the outside. For more information, visit www.avodermnatural.com .
ARF’s core mission is the rescue of dogs and cats who have run out of time at public shelters, giving them a chance at life until a new home can be found. ARF couples this mission with innovative programs strengthening the human-animal bond for children, seniors, veterans, and people in disadvantaged circumstances. Through ARF, people experience the unconditional love and acceptance of dogs and cats to fulfill a mission of “People Rescuing Animals... Animals Rescuing People” Visit www.arflife.org for more information.
About Pets Add Life
Pets Add Life (PAL) is a national campaign established by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) to promote the joys and benefits pets of all types bring to our lives. PAL encourages responsible pet ownership and adoption, and ultimately works to spread the message of the joys associated with adding a pet to your life! Visit www.petsaddlife.org or facebook.com/petsaddlife for more information.
About Human Animal Bond Research Institute
HABRI funds innovative research projects to scientifically document the health benefits of companion animals; maintains the world’s largest online library of human-animal bond research and information; and informs the public about human-animal bond research and the beneficial role of companion animals in society. For more information about HABRI, please visit www.habri.org .