Dole is going bananas for Cascade Bicycle Club’s 33rd Annual Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic – to the delight of 10,000 riders. The world’s top-selling conventional and organic banana is now also the Official Banana of the largest multi-day bike ride in the Northwest.
As the official banana provider of the 200-mile Classic, Dole Fresh Fruit, a subsidiary of Dole Food Company, Inc., will provide the more than 12,000 organic bananas consumed before, during and after the annual ride, which starts July 14 on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle and ends the next day at Halladay Park in downtown Portland.
“Bicycle riders and other endurance athletes have long considered bananas as one of the best pre-race natural energy sources – so an official partnership with the Classic made a lot of sense,” said David Bright, vice president of marketing for Dole Fresh Fruit.
Dole’s partnership with the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic is part of the banana provider’s Go Bananas Every Day initiative, which seeks to make bananas an even bigger part of Americans’ daily routine through strategic alliances, third-party sponsorships, advertising, PR and social media programs.
A key component of the year-long campaign is Nature’s Original Energy Bar, which encourages banana fans to see the fruit as nutritionally superior to other sources of energy during and after summer exercise and recreation. The campaign is based on a May 2012 peer-reviewed study that found that bananas provide the same energy boost, a much bigger nutrition bang and no artificial ingredients compared to the leading sports drinks – at about one-third the price.
In addition, Dole has designated both Seattle and Portland among its four Top Banana Cities for 2012 in honor of both cities’ disproportionately high percentage of banana-loving local residents. The other honored cities are Baltimore and Charlotte, N.C.
Dole representatives will honor those local restaurants, bars and other food-oriented businesses in each city that have a unique connection to the fruit, or push the commonly accepted boundaries of banana cuisine. Dole will also work with local registered dieticians, chefs and food, fitness and family bloggers to educate residents about bananas through media and public appearances, sampling and tasting events.