For the fourth consecutive cycle, Bravo continues its overall series partnership with Food & Wine magazine, including the expertise of Gail Simmons as a series judge. The magazine will also provide prizing for the winner of "Top Chef: Chicago," who will be featured in an upcoming issue and will be showcased at the Annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.
"Bravo Media's "Top Chef" sponsorship is a stellar example of the power of true synergy when aligning the best brands in the business," said Malfa. "We have generated results for our sponsor partners in past seasons – commercial recall; positive brand recall; brand likeability and intent to purchase. We will continue to deliver those powerful results and explore new media and consumer interactivity via new technology and share those learnings with our sponsors who come to us for our innovation."
Elements of the sponsorships and integrations surrounding "Top Chef: Chicago" include:
For the third year, the Glad Products Company will provide a $100,000 cash prize to the "Top Chef" winner to use to advance his or her culinary career. New this year, Clorox brands Kingsford®, Hidden Valley® and KC Masterpiece® join the partnership. The four brands host mealstogether.com, which includes exclusive "Top Chef" videos, an interactive game and content from season three chef'testants Casey Thompson and Chris "CJ" Jacobson. Recipes and tips from Thompson and Brian Malarkey (also from season three) appear in an exclusive downloadable brochure at walmart.com. A sweepstakes sponsored by mealstogether.com will appear on www.BravoTV.com. Branding will occur in-store on select packaging.
Toyota is a fully integrated sponsor and will provide Toyota Highlanders to serve as the primary transportation vehicles for the competing chefs as they make their way around Chicago for "Top Chef's" challenges. The winner of "Top Chef" will receive an all-new 2009 Toyota Corolla. Toyota is also the exclusive sponsor of the "Top Chef" weekly live voting, Bravo's wap site (wap.topchef.com), as well as a sponsor for the "Top Chef" Foodie Flyaway Sweepstakes.
As part of the Verizon Wireless partnership, Verizon Wireless customers will be able to view exclusive "Top Chef" mobishows and a quickfire challenge on their V CAST-enabled phones under the Bravo To Go channel in V CAST Video. Beginning March 12, the quickfire challenge will feature seven "Top Chef" alumni – Chris "CJ" Jacobson, Casey Thompson, Dale Levitski, Ilan Hall, Hung Huynh, Camille Becerra and Sara Nguyen in an action-packed quickfire challenge made exclusively for Verizon Wireless customers. In addition, Verizon Wireless customers have exclusive access to a series of "Bite-Sized" mobishows that explores what happens when chefs and judges are grouped together and put in situations that force their cooking and personality styles to mix. Verizon Wireless is also a fully integrated sponsor of "Top Chef" including sponsorship of the "Top Chef" Foodie Flyaway Sweepstakes and sponsorship of blogs and bios on www.BravoTV.com.
Michelob will be a sponsor of the wildly popular "Fan Favorite." The brand will also be an online sponsor of culinary legend Anthony Bourdain's blog, the ever-popular recipe finder with recipes seen on the show, as well as the interactive game "Rate The Plate," where fans can visit www.BravoTV.com and vote for the dish they think deserves top honors each week.
Bravo's "Top Chef" offers a fascinating window into the competitive, pressure-filled environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business at the highest level. The series features sixteen aspiring chefs who compete for their shot at culinary stardom and the chance to earn the prestigious title of "Top Chef." Each episode holds two challenges for the chefs. The first is a quickfire test of their basic abilities and the second is a more involved elimination challenge designed to test the versatility and inventiveness of the chefs as they take on unique culinary trials such as working with unusual and exotic foods or catering for a range of demanding clients. The challenges not only test their skills in the kitchen, but also uncover if they have the customer service, management and teamwork abilities required of a Top Chef. The competing chefs live and breathe the high-pressure lifestyle that comes with being a master chef, and each week someone is asked to "pack up their knives" and go home.