Hy-Vee strikes deal with new Vikings stadium

The grocery chain Hy-Vee will be a founding sponsor for U.S. Bank Stadium as it works its way into the Twin Cities marketplace.

The Vikings landed a new founding sponsor for U.S. Bank Stadium, ironically with a company that doesn’t currently have much of a presence in Minnesota, but, by the time the stadium opens, they will be off and running too.

The grocery chain Hy-Vee announced a 10-year agreement with the Vikings that will include prominent signage throughout the stadium, as well as the opportunity to created branded concessions and specialty food items.

The announcement comes as Hy-Vee expands into the Twin Cities market next month with the opening of stores in New Hope and Oakdale. In the next few years, Hy-Vee intends to open a handful of stores each year to grow its presence in the Twin Cities metro area.

Steve LaCroix, the Vikings’ executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said the partnering with Hy-Vee adds some prestige to the project, given the national standing the grocery chain has throughout the country, making it one of the most visible grocery brands in any market it’s in.

“Hy-Vee is a very well-recognized and respected brand in the Midwest and, with their significant future growth in Minneapolis-St. Paul, this is a natural partnership for them and the team,” LaCroix said. “We look forward to partnering with Hy-Vee, not just on in-stadium elements but also on future initiatives.”

Hy-Vee President and CEO Randy Edeker said in a statement that the company is looking to co-brand with the state’s most iconic facility as a way to get its name out to the public as it enters a new market.

“All of us at Hy-Vee are ecstatic to be joining the Minneapolis-St. Paul community and what better way to show our Minnesota pride than to partner with the Vikings as they enter a new chapter with U.S. Bank Stadium,” Edeker said. “This agreement will allow us to showcase all the Hy-Vee has to offer Vikings fans and residents – both in and outside stores’ helpful aisles.”

In addition to the stadium presence, Hy-Vee will receive several branding categories with the new stadium, including official grocery store, supermarket, mass retail outlet, floral and pharmacy categories. It will also partner with the Vikings in community outreach programs.

Hy-Vee is one of several corporations that will have branding rights in the new stadium, but it’s inclusion is significant because Hy-Vee currently doesn’t have a presence in the Twin Cities market, but, as it expands and grows in the market, it will receive the benefit of being associated with the most high-visibility sports franchise in the state.

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  • The Vikings are expected to work out former Alabama State right tackle Tovar Allen today, according to 1500 ESPN. Allen, a three-year starter at right tackle, went undrafted but was signed following the draft by the Washington Redskins. He was released June 2 when Washington signed tackle Willie Smith.

  • The rumor jackals are already out in force as it pertains to Phil Loadholt. On the same day the Vikings officially confirmed that Loadholt will miss the entire 2015 season, there is already speculation that the Vikings may release Loadholt before next season. He carries a $7.75 million cap hit if he stays with the team and the Vikings would take a $1.75 million cap hit if he is released prior to the start of the season.

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