big poppa
Sterling Ball is excited about the Big Poppa Smokers partnership with Smithfield Foods.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Smithfield Foods announced on March 28 that its brand signed on as a significant sponsor for Sterling Ball’s Big Poppa Smokers (BPS) promoted events throughout the 2016 competition BBQ season.

The Big Poppa Smokers BBQ team will also serve as a Smithfield brand ambassador. The BPS Team was ranked as the No. 1 pork team in the country by the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS) in 2015.

The prestigious King of the Smoker $75,000 Invitational will now be known as the Smithfield King of the Smoker Invitational, with Smithfield supplying their prime line of pork butts and ribs to all of the teams in the competition.

The event will take place in December at Waldorf Astoria La Quinta Resort & Club in California.

“We are thrilled to join Sterling Ball in his BBQ endeavors,” said Emily Detwiler, Smithfield senior brand manager. “We believe that his objective of making competitive BBQ more accessible for families to participate aligns with Smithfield’s goals and objectives. To us, it is a natural fit to partner with Sterling on his successful BBQ events and initiatives.”

Smithfield is also set to sponsor the popular Guinea Pig BBQ Competition; which will be called the Smithfield Guinea Pig. The Smithfield Guinea Pig contest is a 50 team contest that has been re-structured to be more affordable for competition teams.

The Guinea Pig focuses on bringing families and affordability back to BBQ; featuring a $10,000 prize purse that awards out to 10 places, all meats included in the entry fee, free dessert entry and free “Kid’s Que” entry. Once again, Smithfield will also supply all teams with their “Extra Tender” pork butts & ribs - which were featured at the 2016 Guinea Pig competition.

Smithfield’s sponsorship will also allow the Guinea Pig contest format to expand to two more competitions in 2016. There will be a Smithfield Guinea Pig contest on July 22 in Kansas City. The dates and locations for the third Smithfield Guinea Pig contests are to be determined.

“I am so excited to be joining the Smithfield team,” Ball says. “Whether it’s the Extra Tender or Smithfield Prime, I am amazed at the quality and consistency of the product. As a competition cook, you are looking for any advantage you can find to push you to the next level; and I believe that I have found that in Smithfield products.”