Smithfield Foods, Inc., has announced that its Smithfield brand has signed on as a key sponsor for Sterling Ball's Big Poppa Smokers promoted events throughout the 2016 competition BBQ season. The Big Poppa Smokers (BPS) championship BBQ team will also serve as a Smithfield brand ambassador for the 2016 season.

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 incredible teams that will be competing. Barbecue heavyweights such as Johnny Trigg, Tuffy Stone, Chris Lilly, and Darren Warth have all competed at the King of the Smoker, which has been called, "the toughest field in BBQ."

Smithfield is also set to sponsor the wildly popular Guinea Pig BBQ Competition now called the Smithfield Guinea Pig. The 50-team contest has been re-structured to be more affordable for competition teams, bringing families and affordability back to BBQ. Smithfield will supply all teams with their "Extra Tender" pork butts & ribs.

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

The BPS Championship BBQ Team will be one of Smithfield's newest sponsored teams heading into the 2016 competition BBQ season. The BPS Team was ranked as the #1 Pork team in the country by the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS) in 2015. In addition, Smithfield has added Gettin' Basted and Shake ‘N Bake, the #1 Ribs team in the country, to their competitive BBQ roster.

"I am so excited to be joining the Smithfield team," says Ball. "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."