MasterChef and Crown Resorts 'ALUMNI' dining via MBCS and Initiative

By AdNews | 24 April 2024

Crown Resorts and MasterChef Australia are setting the table for a new pop-up restaurant called ALUMNI at Crown Melbourne.

The campaign is a 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.

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, starting with Kishwar Chowdhury (May 16-June 2) then Callum Hann (June 6-23) and Khanh Ong (June 27-July 14) with a surprise fourth MasterChef Australia cook to be announced late June.

Paramount Australia chief sales officer Rod Prosser 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," he said.

“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.”

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.

Initiative chief strategy & product officer Chris Colter, said there's media sponsorships, brand collaborations and then there’s audacious ideas like this.

“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," he said.

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

MBCS head of original & integrated content Angélica Naranjo said some of the best brand partnerships happen when people 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," she said.

“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."

Endemol Shine Australia director of content, Melbourne Marty Benson said showcasing diverse and talented Australian cooks is at the heart of MasterChef Australia and ALUMNI is a wonderful celebration of its 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," said Benson.

“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.” 



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

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