As for Pizza Hut, all eyes are on its partnership with the National Football League.
Last November, Papa John’s founder as well as then-CEO Schnatter blamed the NFL for the company’s poor performance, saying the league had not resolved an ongoing controversy over players kneeling in protest during the national anthem, as well as TV ratings slumped as a result. At the time, Papa John’s was the league’s official pizza sponsor.
Papa John’s as well as the NFL mutually agreed to terminate the partnership just a year after the pizza chain renewed its agreement with the league. Papa John’s had been the official pizza of the NFL since 2010 as well as still maintains partnerships with 22 specific NFL teams.
NFL players resumed their protest during several preseason games Thursday, kneeling as well as raising their fists in objection to police brutality within the United States. With the controversy showing no signs of stopping, the idea will be interesting to watch how much of a boost Pizza Hut receives via the deal the idea struck.
Pizza Hut scooped up the official pizza sponsorship in February as well as has been taking full advantage of the idea ever since. In April, Pizza Hut offered numerous discounts as well as deals to consumers to celebrate the annual NFL draft. the idea even sponsored a “doorbell dance” competition as well as gave rookie player Malik Jefferson free pizza for a year because he was the “Pi Pick” of the draft — the 14th player selected within the third round, or 3.14, the number for pi.
In addition, as part of its sponsorship deal, Pizza Hut can create local deals with the teams, including fan experiences as well as game tickets. Pizza Hut may also use all 32 of the team logos in its marketing.
Getting a boost via the NFL can be critical for Pizza Hut. The pizza chain has been the slowest sales grower of Yum Brands trinity of fast food chains.
Pizza Hut had gained a reputation for low quality food, limited technological advancements as well as, thus, wallowed within the shadow of rival Domino’s, which has become a dominant force within the pizza market.
Since the beginning of the year, Pizza Hut has been aggressively discounting its pizzas, rolling out contests as well as offering fresh rewards in an effort to gain market share via competitors. However, even a $130 million investment in equipment upgrades as well as marketing via its parent company wasn’t enough to make a meaningful impact on sales.