Edelman to run PR for Triple Play fitness initiative

ATLANTA: Edelman will handle PR for a major new after-school health and fitness initiative being jointly sponsored by Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The new initiative, called Triple Play, includes the development of a fitness curriculum for clubs to use and marketing the program to the clubs, which are independently operated across the country and so must be convinced to offer the program.

ATLANTA: Edelman will handle PR for a major new after-school health and fitness initiative being jointly sponsored by Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The new initiative, called Triple Play, includes the development of a fitness curriculum for clubs to use and marketing the program to the clubs, which are independently operated across the country and so must be convinced to offer the program.

Edelman oversaw media relations for a press conference held at a Harlem boys club April 28. But exactly what level of PR support the agency will provide going forward has yet to be determined, said Amy Ruttkamp, director of PR for the boys and girls clubs.

All three of the sponsoring groups will be doing PR for the program with their internal staffs as well, she said. The program begins in January 2005.

The trio is putting the cost of developing the initiative at $12 million, but Ruttkamp said it was too early to know how much of that would go to PR.

The clubs have worked with Coke and Kraft as partners for more than 50 years, Ruttkamp said. This latest initiative was prompted by ongoing concerns about obesity.

It represents the latest effort by major food companies to stress fitness as part of the answer to the obesity issue at a time when food industry critics are blaming the companies' products for the obesity epidemic sweeping the US.

The partners are putting together an advisory council to help formulate a curriculum that clubs can use to encourage fitness.

Edelman is Kraft's agency of record for corporate matters. The firm became involved in the initiative because of that relationship, said Michelle Holland, EVP in Edelman's consumer group in Chicago.

"We want to determine the best ways to support the program going forward," she said.

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