Philadelphia 76er and NBA AllStar, Ben Simmons, has returned to his roots announcing he is the new ambassador for the Four’N Twenty brand pies, manufactured by Patties Foods in Bairnsdale.
The Melbourne-born basketballer will represent and share his lifelong passion for the iconic Australian pie brand in Australia and the USA.The partnership includes an image of Ben and his name featured on product packs and in consumer promotions, an engaging media campaign and his enthusiastic support of the launch of new products in Australia and the USA.
“I’ve grown up eating Four’ N Twenty pies and I still love them. I am thrilled to be a global brand ambassador for this iconic Australian brand. There is nothing better than a Four’N Twenty pie,” Ben said.
The announcement of Ben’s ambassadorship coincides with the exciting launch of Four’N Twenty’s Original Fan Food campaign, celebrating the deep-seated Australian ritual of eating a pie at sporting games. The campaign, which includes a partnership with Channel Seven, will see the brand release its first television commercial in years.Four’N Twenty will also be releasing a new Philly Cheesesteak Traveller in October, combining Ben’s two heritages – Australian and American – for the perfect new fan food.
“We’re thrilled to have Ben as the face of Four’ N Twenty,” general manager of marketing and innovation at Patties Foods, Anand Surujpal, said. “He’s one of the biggest and most recognisable sports stars in the world today, and it’s an honour to have him return to his Aussie roots by showing his support for the country’s best-loved pie – the original fan food.
“Ben loves a Four’N Twenty pie as much as the next person. He is the perfect fit – he will teach the world how to eat the great Australian pie and help ensure the brand remains contemporary and appealing to a new generation of fans.” Four’N Twenty chief executive officer, Paul Hitchcock, is excited at the prospects ahead for the brand getting its footing in the US market. He’s extremely confident that Ben is the man to help get it there. “Four’N Twenty has always been associated with sport; it’s the original fan food and we’re all about the fans,” he said.
“Ben is not only a great sportsman here, he’s huge in the US, perfect to link our brand and sport.” Paul said Four’N Twenty looks for ‘good people’ in its ambassadors. “Ben is one of our brightest stars on the international stage. He’s a nice guy and a good person, surrounded by good people. We’ve met his family, had lunch with his parents recently. It’s all perfect for the brand,” he said.
Loving the product is a great start for Ben as an ambassador.“Ben said he only has one product in his fridge – Four’N Twenty pies. He was at an AFL game recently and ate six Four’N Twenty pies in one game. He just loves them,” Paul said.
“From a Patties point of view it’s terrific.” Bringing Ben on board as their international ambassador comes after the announcement in January of a $20 million expansion of the Patties Foods bakery in Bairnsdale. “The bakery is currently operating 24/7, we just can’t keep up,” Paul said. “The $20m investment will see a significant increase in the production on the pie line, which will allow us to grow, here and overseas.
“It’s a big opportunity to get us into the US. The expanded pie line and Ben as ambassador will help us do that.
“It’s a long-term growth strategy. It won’t happen overnight, but we’re excited about the US market.” Four’N Twenty and the Philadelphia 76ers first joined forces in November 2017 with an international partner agreement, which saw Australia’s favourite beef pies sold at the team’s home arena throughout the 2017-2018 season. Today, 76ers fans continue to enjoy Traveller pies during their team’s games. In his new role, Ben joins AFL legend and Nova 100 radio presenter, Jonathan ‘Browny’ Brown, who has been a loved brand ambassador and member of the Four’N Twenty family since 2017. Jordan Mailata, Philadelphia Eagles’ Offensive Tackle, also joins the Four’N Twenty brand ambassador list, strengthening the brand’s connection to Philadelphia.
PICTURED: Four’N Twenty chief executive officer, Paul Hitchcock, and Patties Foods general manager of marketing and innovation, Anand Surujpal, are excited to welcome Philadelphia 76er and NBA All-Star, Ben Simmons (centre), as international ambassador for Four’N Twenty Pies. Photo: Alex Subers