In February, Papa Johns pizza announced it was severing its ties to the NFL and as such ending its sponsorship agreement with the league. Not one to let moss grow under their feet, the owners and operators of Pizza Hut jumped right in and claimed the vacancy.
Pizza Hut, fully ready to cash in on the NFL, National Football League, wants to make sure that shareholders know that they will work towards all avenues that will avoid the possibility of suffering the same fate as their predecessor.
Marianne Radley, Pizza Hut’s chief brand officer told Business Insider:
“The NFL has the ability like no other league in the world to inspire, excite, and unite people who otherwise may have nothing in common. They have over seventy billion fans in the United States alone.”
Having come up with what they think will be the perfect promotion, Pizza Hut will be offering an NFL-centric rewards program, as well as NFL themed boxes for their pizzas. For the first commercials in their NFL television based campaign, Pizza Hut tapped two players from the Pittsburgh Steelers—Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Pizza Hut is more than letting it be known that their advertising strategy is to stay as far away from controversy as possible. Unlike Nike, that not only featured controversy in their recent ad starring Colin Kaepernick, they actually celebrated it. Pizza Hut is going to do everything in their power to keep the subject of players kneeling during the National Anthem far away from their ad campaign.
Radley went on to say:
“If you look at how we’re approaching our partnership with the NFL, its very different from how our previous sponsor approached it. Its all about the fans. We’re doing as much as we can to enhance that fan experience.”
Radley also commented that Pizza Hut is not concerned about the possible decline in NFL viewership this sports seasons. She stated that although viewership is down if you look at viewing statistics as a whole, NFL games remain the highest-rated programs on television today. And she doesn’t feel that is going to change any time soon.