One day after news emerged that Papa John’s was out as the official pizza of the NFL, word comes that Pizza Hut has officially become, the new pizza of the league.
Though, technically, the new deal won’t officially begin until April 1st.
The partnership, announced Wednesday between the NFL and Yum! Brands’ Pizza Hut, has the benefit of allowing Pizza Hut to market itself to the NFL’s customers all the way up to and including the NFL Draft, which takes place from April 26-28.
According to USA Today Sports, “The company is the biggest pizza chain in the country with 7,500 locations — twice as many locations as Papa John’s. Pizza Hut can use NFL tickets and “unique fan experiences” for games in its marketing. Terms of the deal were not yet disclosed, although the league said it was for multiple years.”
The NFL’s relationship with Papa John’s began to deteriorate after former Papa John’s CEO and Founder John Schnatter, blasted the league for mishandling the player-led anthem protests which dominated headlines in 2017.
In November of last year, Schnatter said, “The NFL has hurt us. We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this. Leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership.”
Schnatter apologized for his remarks, before eventually resigning as CEO of the company he founded. Though, despite no longer serving as CEO, Schnatter still serves as a chairman.
According to the Daily News, ESPN’s Darren Rovell has reported that “Papa John’s saw a 3.9 percent decline in sales from October through December in 2017 compared to the year prior.”
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