Forestry group sponsors Portland Timbers

Portland Timbers sponsorship gives forestry messages a boot toward OFRI’s goal
By Oregon Forest Resources Institute,

PORTLAND, Ore.– This year, there’s an extra kick to the Oregon Forest Resources Institute’s annual educational advertising efforts. OFRI signed on as a limited sponsor of the Portland Timbers for the soccer club’s 2011 season. Known for their enthusiastic fans, the Timbers make their Major League Soccer home-field debut on April 14. Season tickets for the inaugural MLS season have already sold out.

The Timbers’ name and icons – double-bit axes, two-hand cross-cut saws and a chain-saw-toting mascot – evoke the Northwest’s forest products legacy. They also offer a unique opportunity for OFRI to educate the public on modern forestry practices. Fans will see OFRI-developed forestry messages on signs at JELD-WEN Field – the Timbers’ remodeled and renamed Portland home pitch – in team literature and radio broadcasts, on the team’s website and on the big “Timbervision” screen at the stadium.

Educational advertising is a key component of OFRI’s mission. In addition to its Timbers sponsorship, OFRI continues communicating to Oregonians through traditional advertising media. Thanks to higher revenues in 2010, OFRI will boost its ad campaign by 33 percent in 2011, extending its reach with more television and Internet ads, as well as its Oregon Public Broadcasting radio network sponsorship.

Whether in the media, on the soccer pitch or on the OFRI website, the educational advertising focuses on reforestation and resource protection – top concerns identified in OFRI’s most recent public opinion research. “The public wants to know there are effective laws requiring replanting after harvest, and protections for water resources and fish and wildlife habitat,” says Paul Barnum, OFRI executive director. “Our educational advertising is one of the principal ways we reach the public at large to help them retain those messages.”

Already on the air, OFRI is using the popular TV spots created in 2009 showing generations of Oregon forestland owners and workers. One spot features a family forestland owner and her daughter touring the forest planted by the girl’s grandfather. Another spot features third- and fourth-generation father-and-son loggers Bob and Kirk Luoto talking about how they care for the forest.

The Oregon Forest Resources Institute was created by the Oregon Legislature in 1991 to improve public understanding of the state’s forest resources and to encourage environmentally sound forest management through training and other educational programs for forest landowners. OFRI is funded by a dedicated harvest tax on forest products producers.

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