Kenai Wild brand salmon will travel to Anchorage this summer.
It received the title sponsorship for the weekly Anchorage Market and Festival and will make its first appearance Saturday. The market takes place on Third and E streets in Anchorage from Thursday to Sept. 11.
The Anchorage Market is a Saturday and Sunday event, featuring more than 315 vendors and booths. More than 700,000 tourists attend the market each year.
"It's a way of introducing the brand not only to the Anchorage Market, but to the tens of thousands of tourists going through," said Sylvia Beaudoin, executive director of Cook Inlet Salmon Branding Inc. CISB is the company shepherding the Kenai Wild brand.
A title sponsorship means CISB is the primary sponsor of the event and has its name displayed around the market.
The Kenai Wild program was officially launched three years ago as a way to add value and name recognition to Cook Inlet salmon. Participating fishers ice their program salmon at the point of capture. The salmon goes through a rigorous inspection process and then is branded as Kenai Wild.
"They'll probably walk away with a huge recognition factor," said Bill Webb, marketing manager for Webb's Consulting and Management Services Inc., the company that organizes the Anchorage Market.
Webb said this market is one of the largest in the country. The kind of marketing Kenai Wild salmon will receive is unlike other forms, he said.
"It leaves a great impression," Webb said. "It's a happy event."
Beaudoin said the $50,000 sponsorship includes the brand premier booth space, banner space around the market and mention of Kenai Wild any time the market is mentioned.
The sponsorship money came from a $110,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture regional salmon marketing grant.
Kenai Wild's booth will have items for sale, such as its trademarked salmon and branded cedar grilling planks. There also will be a variety of Alaska chefs preparing salmon recipes for sampling.
"A lot of people are put off by cooking salmon," Beaudoin said. "Chefs at the booth will show people that cooking salmon is not intimidating."
Beaudoin said Kenai Wild is not only about selling salmon, but also about marketing the entire Kenai Peninsula. The Kenai Peninsula Tourism and Marketing Council also will be present at the booth, handing out promotional materials and directing visitors to the peninsula.
The Saturday and Sunday market is a prime venue to reach Alaskans, their visiting family and friends and tourists in general, said Aud Walaszek, outgoing executive director of the KPTMC.
According to an Alaska tourism survey, 34 percent of independent visitors who visited Alaska and the peninsula also visited family and friends, she said, adding this is an important group of people to target.
"Just the fact that we were invited by Kenai Wild it's a fabulous example of a partnership between tourism and the commercial fishing industry," Walaszek said.
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