MasterChef Australia and Crown Resorts set to deliver unique ‘pop-up restaurant’ ALUMNI

MasterChef Australia and Crown Resorts are hosting a “pop-up restaurant and unique, dining experience called ALUMNI”, which will see the former’s past contestants supply diners with their signature cuisines.

The announcement:

Crown Resorts and MasterChef Australia are setting the table to welcome fans and foodies to a new pop-up restaurant and unique, dining experience called ALUMNI at Crown Melbourne, the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

ALUMNI will see a rotating cast of MasterChef Australia alumni at a pop-up restaurant for a limited time, serving dishes from the cuisine they are best known for.

Each ALUMNI chef will take up rotating residency for three weeks, commencing with Kishwar Chowdhury (16 May – 2 June), then Callum Hann (6 – 23 June) and Khanh Ong (27 June – 14 July) with a surprise fourth MasterChef Australia cook to be announced late June.

The creative brainchild and collaboration between media agency Initiative, integrated creative agency Mediabrands Content Studio (MBCS), Paramount Brand Studio and Endemol Shine Australia, ALUMNI is the latest iteration to support Crown’s brand platform “Here’s Where Things Get Interesting”, launched in September 2023.

Rod Prosser, chief sales officer, Paramount Australia, said this announcement is breaking new ground for the MasterChef franchise and demonstrates Paramount Brand Studio’s expertise in collaborating with partners and brands to redefine brand integrations.

“The Paramount Brand Studio team has amplified this audience opportunity and worked closely with our partners to create a remarkable brand extension and experience like nothing we’ve seen before in Australia.

“It’s a direct hit with consumer desire and we can’t wait for Australians to see, smell, touch and taste MasterChef Australia at ALUMNI.”

Tamar Hovagimian, head of integration & partnerships, Paramount Brand Studio said: “This one-of-a-kind partnership with Crown demonstrates how Paramount continues to innovate and evolve traditional sponsorships, maximising our content ecosystem to scale this sponsorship unlike anything we’ve done before.”

Crown Resorts EGM of brand & marketing, Yolanda Uys, said: “Crown is a leading curator of exceptional, interesting experiences in Australia, and we are incredibly excited to partner with MasterChef Australia to bring a unique dining experience with the launch of ALUMNI at Crown Melbourne.

“Crown is Australia’s largest hospitality employer, with 51 restaurants and 31 bars across our three resorts. Each year we train approximately 75 apprentice chefs to go on to have illustrious careers, so as a leader in the hospitality industry, nothing brings us more joy than to partner with these chefs, and further add to our stable of world-class restaurants as we bring the magic of this iconic partnership to life for Australian foodies to enjoy.”

Crown’s partnership with MasterChef Australia will play a role across all stages of the marketing funnel via tier one sponsor entitlements. Awareness of ALUMNI will be driven via the MasterChef Australia franchise including integrated billboards, social campaign across all platforms; in-house promotion throughout Crown venues in Perth and Sydney and the launch of a bespoke TVC featuring the celebrity chef line up nearer ALUMNI’s opening date.

“There’s media sponsorships, brand collaborations and then there’s audacious ideas like this,” added Chris Colter, chief strategy & product officer, Initiative. “Both these iconic brands have more than come to the table, harnessing their entire experience ecosystems to maximise the cultural and commercial potential of this partnership.

“I couldn’t be more proud to see this come to life, and have already reserved my table at ALUMNI!”

Angélica Naranjo, head of original & integrated content, MBCS said: “Some of the best brand partnerships happen when you look beyond the predictable. ALUMNI is an example of an unusual union but one which will ultimately attract new customers, create new revenue streams and drive growth for both brands.

“This is just the sort of project MBCS excels at bringing to life and we can’t wait to see this idea in action, delighting and engaging a whole raft of new devotees both for Crown and MasterChef,” added Angélica.

Marty Benson, director of content, Melbourne, Endemol Shine Australia said: “Showcasing diverse and talented Australian cooks is at the heart of MasterChef Australia and ALUMNI is a wonderful celebration of our legacy and success stories.

“MasterChef Australia is a life changing experience with so many of our contestants carving out entirely new careers so it’s wonderful to see the ongoing impact of our show through the ALUMNI dining experience.

“And just like MasterChef Australia, ALUMNI will celebrate food from around the world with Kishwar, Callum and Khanh reflecting their cultures through their unique cuisine.”

Campaign Credits

Crown Resorts

Group executive general manager, brand & marketing: Yolanda Uys
Group head of brand: Andy Holmes
Group head of media, digital & social: Carter McVines
Group head of creative services: Janelle Toomey
Group senior brand manager: Candice Arbery

Broadcast: Paramount Brand Studio

Head of Paramount Brand Studio: Michael Stanford
Head of integration & partnerships: Tamar Hovagimian
National partnerships manager: Emma Hardey
National activations manager: Rebecca Yeoh
Associate creative director: Mary Karananos
Supervising creative producer: Caro Wallace

Media: Initiative

Managing director: Sam Geer
Chief strategy officer: Chris Colter
Sydney head of investment: Daniela Rocchi

Client director: Alison Bongailas
Partnerships manager: Sophie Hobson

Integration Partnership: MBCS

Managing director: Olivia Warren
Head of original & integrated content: Angelica Naranjo
Senior integrated content director: Jack Davidson

MasterChef Australia is produced by Endemol Shine Australia (a Banijay company).

Director of content, Melbourne: Marty Benson
Commercial partnerships director: Meredith Hoban
Executive producer: Simon Child
Commercial partnerships manager: Chloe Beguely
Commercial partnerships producer: Danielle Belotti

Source: Network Ten


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.