The 2018 NFL season is the beginning of Pizza Hut’s tenure as the official pizza sponsor of the league. Pizza Hut intercepted the sponsorship in February after a “mutual decision” by the league and Papa John’s to end their relationship. Exactly how much the sponsorship cost Pizza Hut has not been made public.
The sponsorship now gives No. 2 ranked Pizza Hut field advantage over rival Dominos. The Yum Brands unit has been an underdog in the pizza wars for several years. This could be a great opportunity for Pizza Hut to make market share gains. Football season has always been a strong time for sales for Pizza Hut.
Pizza Hut has tapped Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers for its new advertising campaign. The ads play up the fun of eating pizza while watching football. Pizza Hut has already done some advertising and promotions around the National Football League draft with a “doorbell dance” campaign.
Pizza Hut will field a limited-edition pizza box sporting all 32 NFL team logos and is adding NFL-specific offers to its Hut Rewards program. Pizza Hut customers will now be able to get deals on the days their favorite teams play through a feature called Game Plan on its app. A reminder will be sent to customers three hours before kickoff to see if they want to pizza delivered for the start of the game or during halftime.
Pizza Hut is also extending an invitation to join Pizza Hut’s rewards program before Sept. 15 and place one order of $10 or more to get your next ordered pizza free. Customers will also be able to sign up for prizes, including $100 Pizza Hut gift cards and a trip to the Super Bowl in Atlanta in February. Zipporah Allen, Pizza Hut’s chief marketing officer, said, “We really think about what we can do uniquely as a brand and what experiences we can bring to the fans.”