Eckrich® Partners with CFP Foundation as Title Sponsor of the 2019 Taste of the Championship

November 12, 2018

Longtime Smoked Sausage and Deli Meats Leader Supports CFP Foundation’s Primary Fundraising Event

November 12, 2018 (IRVING, Texas) -- The College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation today announced that Eckrich®, the makers of naturally-hardwood smoked sausage and perfectly-seasoned deli meats, has signed on to be title sponsor of the 2019 Taste of the Championship. The CFP Foundation’s primary fundraising event is held annually on the eve of the CFP National Championship, falling this year on Sunday, January 6, 2019. Attendees will enjoy samplings of gourmet food and beverages from the Bay Area’s most notable restaurants and wineries, while celebrating teachers from across the United States. The Eckrich Taste of the Championship will take place at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif.

“We are thrilled to partner with Eckrich as title sponsor of the Taste of the Championship,” said Britton Banowsky, executive director at the CFP Foundation. “Their support of the CFP Foundation and our overall mission to support teachers has been amazing and indicates their true commitment to educators across the nation. We’re looking forward to making this year’s Eckrich Taste of the Championship the best we’ve ever had.”

The CFP Foundation’s relationship with Eckrich began at the 2018 CFP National Championship in Atlanta, as the organization was selected as the charitable beneficiary of the brand’s season-ending $1 Million Challenge. ESPN college football analyst, and long-time Eckrich brand spokesman, Kirk Herbstreit threw for the opportunity to win $1 Million for the CFP Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers platform. Herbstreit missed his first two attempts, but completed the throw on his third try. To honor this success, Eckrich increased its original $25,000 minimum donation to $500,000. Teachers of the Year from across the country were on the sideline to cheer on Herbstreit and were thrilled to see Eckrich honor his successful third attempt with the considerable half-million-dollar donation. The gift allowed for hundreds of teachers and thousands of students to be further impacted by the work of the CFP Foundation and marked the largest single donation of its kind from an outside benefactor.

On the heels of the success in Atlanta, Eckrich and the CFP Foundation have once again come together to celebrate teachers during the 2018-19 college football season, recognizing one educator at each of the 19 stops on the Eckrich Road to the National Championship sweepstakes tour. In addition to being recognized for each of their standout achievements, teachers are treated to a one-of-a-kind game-day experience, complete with a $1,000 grant for each of their respective classrooms.

"At Eckrich, being an active member of our community is one of our key integral values, and we’re proud to continue supporting the Extra Yard for Teachers platform through our partnership with the CFP Foundation,” said Mike Paribello, senior director of marketing at Smithfield Foods. “We’re grateful for organizations like the CFP Foundation, whose mission is to empower our next generation through providing resources and access to education that helps foster tomorrow’s leaders.”

The Eckrich Taste of the Championship will feature an appearance by current MasterChef Season 9 winner Gerron Hurt, a high school English teacher, who will share his creativity and talents at a cooking display. The Bay Area’s beloved Michael Mina will serve as the host chef for the event, including participation of two of his signature restaurants.

Tickets for the Eckrich Taste of the Championship are on sale now via the CFP website at

For more information about the CFP Foundation, visit For more information about Eckrich, visit


About the College Football Playoff Foundation and Extra Yard for Teachers
The College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the College Football Playoff, supporting education across the country. The CFP Foundation’s primary cause platform, Extra Yard for Teachers, is dedicated to elevating the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering teachers in four focus areas: resources, recognition, recruitment and professional development. The CFP Foundation utilizes multiple partnerships to execute its initiatives and support positive educational outcomes. To learn more, visit and follow Extra Yard for Teachers (@CFPExtraYard) on social media.

About Eckrich
Founded by Peter Eckrich in 1894, Eckrich has a rich heritage starting from a small meat market in Fort Wayne, Ind. Through it all, Eckrich meats have been recognized for their great taste and supreme quality, craftsmanship, care and pride. For more information, visit

About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield, Eckrich®, Nathan's Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook's®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly's®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus® and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Media Contacts:

CFP Foundation
Gina Lehe
(469) 262-5200

Diana Souder
(757) 357-1675

Sharon Lyle