Sponsors Go To The Dogs With USA's Westminster Coverage

Three sponsors will look to receive best in show laurels during USA Network's coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb. 9 and 10.
Pedigree, Toyota and Petco are key sponsors for the 133rd edition of the venerable pooch event, held at Madison Square Garden.
The sponsorship pacts, terms of which were not disclosed, began barking earlier this month featuring the clients in on-air promos, eblasts, and mobile alerts. In addition, USA is capitalizing on last year's record traffic to usanetwork.com, by offering fans several new features courtesy of our marketing partners.
Now in its 22nd year as presenting sponsor of the Westminster show, Pedigree's campaign centers on pet adoption through multiple elements, including all tagged tune-ins, online site sponsorships of both WKC and USA homepages, as well as the "Dog Profiler" and "adoption drive" sections.
The brand will be prominently featured in-show during both nights of competition through custom vignettes featuring John Anton, the director of marketing dry dog food and president of the Pedigree Foundation; and Uno, last year's best-in-show champion and a shelter dog. The vignettes will drive viewers online to Dogsrule.com where they can learn more about the foundation and donate money to the cause.
Perdigree said it will match donated contributions up to $500,000 and announce the total amount raised immediately prior to WKC naming the 2009 best-in-show dog. Moreover, USA will stream best-in-group, best-in-show and best-in-breed judging on its "Character Rewind" video player, affording fans additional canine close-ups.
Toyota is making its first foray into WKC sponsorship and will integrate its Venza model online, where host show David Frei will cover the topic of traveling with man's best friend. Frei and two former show dogs appear in the series of custom Webisodes featuring  tips ranging from harness safety and gates for back seats, to comfortable seat cushion covers and travel tents. A custom on-air promo spot will drive viewers to usanetwork.com and westminsterkennelclub.org to view the original content.
Petco continues its long-standing sponsorship of WKC with an on-air presence that includes tagged tune-ins and billboards. Petco's promotional spots draw a parallel between the pet purveyor's brand messaging, "Petco. Where the pets go," and the WKC, the premiere destination for dog lovers.
"Working with our three partners represents more than just a creative opportunity to organically integrate their brand messaging throughout a wide variety of touch points on-air and online," said Chris McCumber, executive vice president, marketing, digital and brand strategy, USA Network, in a statement. "We're providing Westminster Kennel Club viewers, who are passionate dog lovers, exclusive themed content that is entertaining, additive and relevant to their interests and passion for this perennial franchise."