PITTSBURGH, Jan. 21 – You could say that last week's Pittsburgh Steelers "cut it close" in their quest for victory. Or that the New England team would have been "in a pickle" had they not come out victorious last Sunday. Now, the Chairmen and CEOs of the H.J. Heinz Co. and The Gillette Company will be on the edge of their seats this Sunday, waiting to see who can pour on a victory when their respective teams battle each other in the AFC Championship game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
The tradition of mayoral challenges, including the wagering of products indigenous to each city, has become commonplace during the NFL playoffs. In a new twist to this tradition, Heinz – based in Pittsburgh – and Gillette – based in Boston – are wagering their company's icon products to up the ante for the big game.
Heinz Field has been the home to the Steelers for four seasons, while Gillette Stadium has been home to the Super Bowl Champion Patriots for three seasons.
The bet between Heinz's Bill Johnson and Gillette's Jim Kilts puts Heinz Tomato Ketchup® on the table against Gillette's top two razors. Heinz will present a bottle of ketchup to each employee at Gillette's headquarters in Boston if the Patriots win. If the Steelers win, Gillette will send MACH3Turbo Champion men's and women's Venus Divine razors to employees at Heinz's Pittsburgh headquarters.
The two CEOs have been exchanging friendly banter leading up to the game on Sunday, and both are guaranteeing a victory for their team.
"After the Steelers close shave last weekend, we look forward with 'great anticipation' to pouring on a victory Sunday and enjoying one of your fine products," commented Johnson in a letter to Jim Kilts.
Kilt's response: "I'm confident that the Patriots will win without a nick on Sunday. Our team has proven that it can win games by both huge and razor-thin margins…the closer the game, the smoother the team's play."
"Sponsoring both stadiums is a great way to give back to our respective cities, and we thought this would be a fun way to give back to our employees," the chairmen commented in a joint statement.
ABOUT HEINZ: H.J. Heinz Company is one of the world's leading producers and marketers of branded foods in ketchup, condiments, sauces, meals, soups, seafood, snacks and infant foods. Heinz is a global family of leading brands, including Heinz(R) Ketchup, sauces, soups, beans, pasta and infant foods (representing nearly one-third of total sales), Ore-Ida(R) French fries, Boston Market(R) and Smart Ones(R) meals and Plasmon(R) baby food. Heinz's 50 companies have number-one or number-two brands in 200 countries, showcased by Heinz(R) Ketchup, the world's favorite ketchup. Information on Heinz is available at www.heinz.com/news.
ABOUT GILLETTE: Headquartered in Boston, Mass., The Gillette Company is the world leader in male grooming, a category that includes blades, razors and shaving preparations. Gillette also holds the number one position worldwide in selected female grooming products, such as wet shaving products and hair epilation devices. In addition, the Company is the world leader in alkaline batteries and in manual and power toothbrushes.