HOUSTON, Jan. 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY), North America's leading foodservice distribution company, today announced a multi-platform marketing relationship with the Food Network and its highly rated show "Restaurant: Impossible," and a partnership with the show's host, celebrity chef Robert Irvine.

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The multi-level campaign is the first of its kind for Sysco. It will utilize specific Food Network programming and feature assets that relate to how Sysco serves its customers every day. The campaign will include integrated marketing and engagement initiatives to reinforce Sysco's commitment to be its customers' most valued and trusted business partner.

"As the industry leader, we must continue to find new ways to engage with, provide value to and earn the trust of our customers," said Bill DeLaney, president and chief executive officer of Sysco Corporation. "Launching this unique marketing relationship with the Food Network and Chef Irvine will enhance our ability to strengthen our customer relationships by contributing to their success."

"We believe the strong correlation between Food Network's 'Restaurant: Impossible' and Sysco's far-reaching business will resonate with our audiences," said Karen Grinthal, senior vice president of Advertising Sales, Food Network. "This marketing program we have built with Sysco creates a unique and dynamic platform around a signature Food Network show and chef personality that transform the lives of restaurateurs. The clincher is that it personifies what Sysco does every day."

In a recent study, more than 70 percent of Sysco's customers surveyed said that they watch Food Network at least once a week and that it helps them stay on top of trends.

Key components of the Sysco-Food Network multi-level campaign include:

  • Media tie-ins, involving formal sponsorship of "Restaurant: Impossible," in-show product integrations and TV commercials;
  • Digital integrations, incorporating Food Network, Chef Irvine and Sysco assets on foodnetwork.com, the "Restaurant: Impossible" page on foodnetwork.com, and sysco.com and Sysco's Facebook page and ChefRef app.
  • Product promotions, including three, large-scale Sysco customer sweepstakes; and
  • Consumer tie-in, including a consumer sweepstakes on foodnetwork.com.

"Partnering with the Food Network is a great fit and an unprecedented journey for Sysco on a number of fronts," said Bill Goetz, Sysco's senior vice president of Marketing. "With our presence in nearly every major U.S. and Canadian market, it provides us with a platform to launch our first national brand campaign and our first network show integration. Food Network's mission is directly relevant to Sysco's mission, vision and goals. And what Chef Irvine does with his show, 'Restaurant: Impossible,' is what Sysco does with its customers – and that's help make restaurants successful."

About Sysco

Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home. Its family of products also includes equipment and supplies for the foodservice and hospitality industries. The company operates 185 distribution facilities serving over 400,000 customers. For the fiscal year 2012 that ended June 30, 2012, the company generated record sales of over $42 billion. For more information about Sysco, visit the company's website at www.sysco.com and connect with Sysco on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SyscoCorporation and Twitter at www.twitter.com/sysco_corp.

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About Food Network

FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers' best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring and empowering through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to more than 100 million U.S. households and averages more than 9.9 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine has tripled its rate base and delivers a circulation of 1.5 million. Headquartered in New York, Food Network has a growing international presence with programming in more than 150 countries, including 24 hour networks in Great Britain, India, Asia and Africa. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE:SNI), which also owns and operates Cooking Channel (www.cookingchanneltv.com), DIY Network (www.diynetwork.com), Great American Country (www.gactv.com), HGTV (www.hgtv.com), and Travel Channel (www.travelchannel.com), is the manager and general partner.

About Restaurant: Impossible

Restaurant: Impossible continues its successful run as one of the Food Network's most popular shows, where Chef Robert Irvine attempts to save some of America's struggling restaurants from impending failure in just two days with only $10,000. Over the course of each extreme mission, Chef Irvine assesses all of the restaurant's facets and then overhauls its weakest spots with updates to menus, retraining staff and implementing aesthetic changes with the help of his design team, before hitting the streets to tell the community about the improved restaurant.

About Chef Robert Irvine

With more than 25 years in the culinary profession, Chef Robert Irvine has cooked his way through Europe, the Far East, the Caribbean and the Americas, in hotels and on the high seas. Chef Irvine brings his experience to Food Network as host of Restaurant: Impossible and previous host on Dinner: Impossible and Worst Cooks in America. Chef Irvine also has been seen on The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs, where he competed for the title of "The Next Iron Chef" against an all-star caliber group of chefs. A native of England, Chef Irvine is the author of two cookbooks, Mission: Cook! (Harper Collins, 2007) and Impossible to Easy (Harper Collins, 2010).

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

Charley Wilson
Vice President, Corporate Communications

Wendy Olson
Director, Corporate Communications