updated: 1/19/2007 7:54:03 AM

Ketchup Battle is Brewing Over Term "Red Zone"

InsideIndianaBusiness.com Report

Elwood-based Red Gold Inc. is urging Colts fans to sound off on its website about what they are calling a move by Heinz to force a turnover of the "red zone" at the RCA Dome. The Hoosier company says Heinz has filed a challenge claiming ownership of the term "red zone."

The red zone is the region of the playing field measured from the 20 yard line to the end zone. Red Gold has sponsored the "Red Gold Red Zone" for the past four seasons at the RCA Dome and has donated canned tomato products to food pantries each time the Colts have scored from the zone during home games. They say a Heinz victory would take away the home field advantage and would not benefit local food banks.

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Source: Inside INdiana Business

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Press Release

Look out pro football! Move over Indianapolis Colts! If ketchup giant Heinz has its way, your home field advantage will forever belong to them.

For over 25 years, the term “red zone” in football has referred to the region of the playing field measured from the opponent’s 20 yard line to the end zone. Coined by Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs in a 1982 Washington Post article, the ability to consistently score from the “red zone” is a key element for a team’s success.

Now that the Colts are heading to the AFC championship, Heinz is challenging Indy’s right to have their home field “red zone” sponsored by a local company. Red Gold, Inc. of Elwood, Indiana, the hometown favorite ketchup and tomato products manufacturer for sixty-five years, is being challenged by Heinz for the rights to sponsor the “red zone” at the RCA dome.

For the past four seasons, the Red Gold company, an official sponsor of the Colts, has donated canned tomato products to Indianapolis area food pantries to help feed needy families each time that the Colts have scored from the “Red Gold Red Zone” during home games. During that time, the incredibly proficient offense of the Colts has resulted in Red Gold’s donation of over 136 tons of food! Additionally, Red Gold recently launched “Go Colts” ketchup in the upside-down bottle. In a move that can only be characterized as a “chop block”, Heinz filed a challenge claiming ownership of the term “red zone” in an attempt to cut the legs out from under Red Gold and the Colts – a move that is sure to draw a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Seventeen years after the term “red zone” became accepted vernacular of the game, Heinz began sponsoring the “Heinz Red Zone” at Heinz Field. A score from the “Heinz Red Zone” prompts an advertisement on the Jumbotron while two giant bottles pour “virtual ketchup” on the scoreboard. Neither food pantry nor local charity benefits from this celebration. Instead, Heinz participates in the kind of meaningless celebratory antics that would penalize a team 15 yards if it were anywhere on the playing field.

Is it any wonder that Heinz is looking for other successful teams (like our Colts) to “safety blitz” and force a turnover of the “red zone”? Red Gold is readying its offensive line to pick up this blitz, but they could use help from Colts fans. If you don’t want Heinz owning the “red zone”, let Red Gold know at www.redgold.com. Click on “Contact Us” and post your comments.

Source: Red Gold, Inc.

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