Pizza Hut got the sponsorship deal in February, less than a day after a mutual agreement was reached between the league and Papa John’s to end that company’s eight-year reign.
Pizza Hut’s sponsorship debut included a variety of elements – national ads, a new digital platform, drivers and employees decked out in football jerseys, pizza boxes with an AR feature and a $7.99 price point.
It’s a robust campaign to be sure, particularly for only having a six-month turnaround. But Chief Branding Officer Marianne Radley believes such audacity is necessary to achieve Pizza Hut’s objectives and to make a strong first impression for rabid football fans.
Radley diplomatically dances around the elephant in the room when discussing the brief transition between sponsorship brands, noting only that Pizza Hut will "take a different approach" by putting the fans front and center.
“Our focus has been on how we do things differently than the previous sponsor and we felt firmly that the fans had to be the north star. How do we bring that excitement to them and bring them closer to the NFL?” Radley said. “This campaign is about making fans happy and selling a ton of pizza.”