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Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday, Who Could Hang a Name on You?
Tuesday, October 31, 2006 | posted by Mike

Ruby TuesdayWell, apparently the name that we can hang on them is “sponsor of Iron Chef America.”

Broadcast Newsroom is reporting that the casual dining chain has entered into an agreement with Scripps to sponsor two series, ICA on the Food Network and Design Star on Home & Garden Television.
"We welcome Ruby Tuesday as a new sponsor on our networks and look forward to working with the company to get its message out to our audiences, which are ideal for Ruby Tuesday," said Steve Gigliotti, executive vice president of ad sales for Scripps Networks.
This is interesting news, especially on the heels of the Tyler Florence/Applebee’s alliance that has been heavily promoted by that restaurant in the past few months. Again, we see a casual dining outlet looking to align itself with foodie television.

This is a bit of an odd pairing, however, particularly when you think about the Tyler arrangement. Applebee’s menu is a little bit of this and a little bit of that, much like Tyler’s dishes on his shows. Ruby Tuesday’s menu hits many of the same burgers/ribs/chicken notes, so it will be interesting to see how that fits in with the classically trained chefs, fancy preparations and plating and out-of-the-ordinary ingredients used on ICA.

I’m sure we’ll hear a bit of rumbling about this, and I suppose that giving a “sponsorship” status to a company in the food business opens one up to that. But in a day and age where every college football bowl game has a corporate sponsor, this sort of thing has become a fait accompli. And if we start putting “taste” requirements on the food products that buy space on FN, I have a feeling that would take a considerable chunk out of their advertising roster. (The word “Velveeta” comes to mind.)

But, let’s not a have next season’s competition taking place in the “Ruby Tuesday’s Kitchen Stadium,” OK?

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