Papa John’s to be main pizza sponsor for NFL

Posted June 8, 2010 at 9:33 a.m.

ct-biz-pizza-web.jpgA manager at a Papa John’s Pizza in Akron, Ohio, preparing dough. (AP Photo/Akron Beacon Journal)

Associated Press | Papa John’s International Inc. leapfrogged two larger rivals to land a deal as the official pizza sponsor of the National Football League and the Super Bowl.

The three-year, multimillion-dollar contract kicks off in the upcoming season and runs through the 2012 season. It’s the largest sponsorship deal in Papa John’s history, but the company would not specify a dollar amount.

Papa John’s, the third-largest pizza company behind Pizza Hut and
Domino’s, said the sponsorship means it can use NFL logos and
trademarks, including the NFL shield logo, in its advertising and

Papa John’s Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Varga said the affilation
”will greatly enhance our brand-building efforts.” The
Louisville-based company plans a multipronged blitz that includes
advertising, promotions and digital campaigns, he said.

”To have that powerful affiliation of their branding with our branding
should allow us to really see some nice, measurable results,” Varga

Kevin Lane Keller, a marketing professor at the Tuck School of Business
at Dartmouth, said the success of a sponsorship depends on ”all the
other things you do with it.”

”Pizza and football are a great match, so there’s a lot of logic to the
sponsorship,” Keller said. ”But the real success depends on how
creative they are in using it.”

The sponsorship builds on Papa John’s purchase of the official pizza
sponsorship of the Super Bowl in early February. Papa John’s said it
posted its largest single sales day in brand history on Super Bowl
Sunday this year, selling more than 900,000 pizzas at its more than
2,700 U.S. restaurants.

Varga said the chain typically sees an upswing in pizza sales on game
days during the NFL season.

Papa John’s is also the official pizza of several NFL teams — the
Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys,
Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles,
St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Papa John’s has reaped benefits from its
connection with the team.

”It’s been a dramatic increase in its business and its profitability”
in the Dallas area, he said.

Jones and his family are franchise partners with Papa John’s in the
Dallas area. He said that same model that achieved a bigger slice of
business there can be applied nationally with the NFL sponsorship.

Earlier this year, Anheuser-Busch brand Bud Light became the official
beer sponsor of the NFL, edging out rival MillerCoors. Anheuser-Busch’s
six-year deal begins in the 2011 season.

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  1. Jeff June 8, 2010 at 10:36 a.m.

    Ugh, Budweiser. Worst beer by far for getting hangovers.

  2. TimL June 9, 2010 at 10:33 a.m.

    That is because your doing it wrong.

  3. jim June 9, 2010 at 10:54 a.m.

    listen,i live in jersey,i don’t know what papa john’s is selling but it’s not pizza. i’m happy they’re doing well, but if i want a pizza i go to my local pizza place and get a good one.

  4. Lorenzo Mancini June 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    If you live in Jersey, you don’t know what good pizza tastes like.

  5. David June 9, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Papa Johns isn’t pizza. I don’t know what it is. But it’s not pizza. Mall pizza is better than that stuff. How it got to be the third biggest chain is beyond me. Just terrible stuff. Blech! Oh, and Budweiser sucks too.

  6. PizzaLover June 16, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Papa Johns is amazing pizza. David theres something wrong with you, your probably high. Way better than Dominoes. Hope one comes in the city soon.