The Cleveland Browns today announced the upcoming launch of "Barking Backers," a new membership program that en-"TAILS" multiple engagement opportunities for the beloved dogs of Browns fans. Everyone who joins will receive an honorary membership certificate, communications and promotions catered specifically to dog owners and an invitation to attend pet-friendly in-person events. The Barking Backers Fan Club for Dogs is presented by Milk-Bone®.
Barking Backers will officially open to fans later in August, which is National Dog Month. Browns fans attending training camp sessions at the CrossCountry Mortgage can visit the Milk-Bone Barking Backers activation to receive more information and be among the first to join the club prior to its official debut. Established by Milk-Bone in 2020, National Dog Month celebrates how dogs bring great joy into pet owners' and people's lives across the country, as well as raises money for dog-centric philanthropic organizations like Canine Assistants.
"Browns fans' passion for football is unmatched across the NFL, and one of the few parts of their lives reaching that same fervor is how much they love and are proud of their dogs," said Senior Vice President of Marketing & Media Brent Rossi. "Recognizing the long-term excitement around and success of the Puppy Pound – which has resulted in more than 600 onsite adoptions during training camp since 2015 – we created Barking Backers to provide our fans and their dogs a unique way to connect with their favorite team and fellow dog owners through these two cherished personal connections."
"Milk-Bone is passionate about the connection people have with their dogs. So much so that in 2020, The Milk-Bone brand founded National Dog Month to recognize all the ways dogs make our lives better," said Jasen Cusick, Director of Dog Treats at The J.M. Smucker Co. "We're excited to celebrate the third annual National Dog Month by giving Browns Fans across the nation a fan club for their dogs, in partnership with the Cleveland Browns."
Following the official launch in the upcoming weeks, individuals or families will be able to join Barking Backers at barkingbackers.com. Browns fans can learn more about Barking Backers and the opening sign-up date by following the team's social channels and downloading the Browns Mobile App.
The Browns are finalizing plans for Barking Backers members' first meet-and-greet event, currently expected to occur in October at FirstEnergy Stadium (subject to change).
Milk-Bone will also serve as the presenting partner of the Browns' preseason home opener against the Eagles on Sunday (1 p.m.).
In addition to the free memberships available, participants can select a premium membership for only $35 per year. Premium memberships include a Barking Backers collectible box with Browns gear; a virtual and/or in-person experience with a Browns player or coach and their pet; and the chance to be showcased among the fan club as the "Dog of the Month." As part of the membership dues, $5 will be donated to Canine Assistants a non-profit organization dedicated to educating people and dogs that specializes in placing service animals with people who have epilepsy or seizure disorders, Type 1 Diabetes or difficulty with mobility, as well as in pediatric hospitals and similar facilities.
About The J.M. Smucker Co.:
Each generation of consumers leaves their mark on culture by establishing new expectations for food and the companies that make it. At The J.M. Smucker Co., it is our privilege to be at the heart of this dynamic with a diverse portfolio that appeals to each generation of people and pets and is found in nearly 90 percent of U.S. homes and countless restaurants. This includes a mix of iconic brands consumers have always loved such as Folgers®, Jif® and Milk-Bone® and new favorites like Café Bustelo®, Smucker's® Uncrustables® and Rachael Ray® Nutrish®. By continuing to immerse ourselves in consumer preferences and acting responsibly, we will continue growing our business and the positive impact we have on society. For more information, please visit jmsmucker.com. The J.M. Smucker Co. is the owner of all trademarks referenced herein except for Rachael Ray®, a registered trademark of Ray Marks II LLC, which is used under license.