Beaver Street Fisheries

Beaver Street Seafood Firm Wins as Sharks Sponsor

Sports visibility can pay dividends; also works with Jaguars.

Beaver Street seafood firm wins as Sharks sponsor

August 25, 2011 - 3:06am | Updated: August 25, 2011 - 6:15am



By David Bauerlein 




Mark Frisch, executive vice president of Beaver Street Fisheries, was among the Jacksonville Sharks fans astonished when another fan reached onto the playing field and repeatedly grabbed an opposing team’s


kick returner in the end zone.


Frisch’s reaction had another dimension beyond surprise.


The encounter occurred directly in front of a padded wall displaying a large logo for Sea Best, the brand name for Beaver Street Fisheries’ seafood sold in grocery stores. Every time the fan’s tackle was replayed on television, Sea Best was in the background.


Frisch the businessman liked it as much as Frisch the Sharks fan did.

“That was great and that’s one of the hidden benefits of sports marketing,” he said. “It’s hard to put a return on investment for that kind of branding. But you just have to keep putting your name out there, putting your name out there.”

Beaver Street Fisheries just finished its second year as the Sharks’ presenting sponsor, a designation that got an extended run of publicity when the team won the Arena Football League championship. It’s part of a stepped-up effort by the company to generate more retail sales of its Sea Best products.

Frisch and the Sharks declined to say what Beaver Street Fisheries paid to be the team’s top sponsor.

Typically, the naming rights deal for an Arena Football League team could be several hundred thousand dollars per season, said Eric Smallwood, senior vice president of Front Row Marketing Services, a Philadelphia firm that analyzes corporate sponsorships in the sports world.

“Because they got on TV and into the ArenaBowl, that’s some powerful exposure for them,” he said of the nationwide audience for games broadcast on NFL Network. “But really, I think a lot of the exposure is going to be on the local level.”

Five of the Sharks’ home games at what was called Sea Best Field were televised locally. Two regular-season home games were on NFL Network and two playoff games made it to that national stage.

Beaver Street Fisheries started in 1950 with a fish market. The business has grown to about 400 people at its Beaver Street location, just west of where a bridge spans a large railroad yard.

It sells seafood at wholesale and retail levels. For the fiscal year that ended in May 2010, revenue was $443 million. Seafood packaged in the Sea Best brand for sale at stores accounts for about 10 percent of revenue, Frisch said.

Since 2010, the company has launched programs for Sea Best coupons, in-store promotions and online ads. It also became corporate sponsors of both the Sharks and the Jaguars.

“We always knew we had a good product in our bags and boxes,” Frisch said. “We just felt the timing was right.”

Frisch began by exploring sponsorship options with the Jacksonville Jaguars, including stadium naming rights. Jacksonville-based EverBank got that five-year, $16.6 million contract with the Jaguars last year.

Beaver Street Fisheries became a Jaguars sponsor on a smaller scale. The company’s logo is in the stadium next to the 40-second play clocks and it has Sea Best Seafood Zones for food sales in the club suites.

For the Sharks’ sponsorship, Beaver Street Fisheries got a naming rights deal for the arena. The company logo gets prominent display on the football field, on players’ jerseys, and on the Sharks website.

And then there are the unexpected doses of publicity, such as the fan reaching to grab the kickoff returner in a playoff game against the Georgia Force. The video went viral.

“That’s one of the things you can’t count on, but it’s a great bonus,” said Larry Payne, one of the three partners owning the Sharks. “Those are the intangibles that sometimes happen in sports marketing, and hopefully add to the name recognition.”

David Bauerlein: (904) 359-4581

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