Papa John’s leverages NFL sponsorship

Sept. 1, 2010

As the Official Pizza Sponsor of NFL, Papa John's is kicking off its busiest season of the year with an integrated marketing program that targets the largest football television networks and cable stations.  

Earlier this year, Papa John’s experienced the positive impact that a sponsorship with the NFL can generate. As Official Pizza Sponsor of Super Bowl XLIV, Papa John’s recorded its largest single sales day in brand history, selling more than 900,000 pizzas on Super Bowl Sunday at its 2,800 U.S. restaurants.

Papa John’s NFL "playbook" for 2010-2011 includes special promotions and deals for fans throughout the season, a season-long partnership with NBC Sports’ “Football Night in America,” numerous customized sponsorship elements with NFL Network, as well as sponsorship of “NFL Primetime” on ESPN and “Fantasy Football Now” on ESPN2.

To activate its partnership with “Football Night in America,” Papa John’s and NBC Sports will create co-branded customized features that will run during the popular NFL studio show, and, in many cases, feature company founder “Papa” John Schnatter, alongside NFL personalities. The first feature will run during “Football Night” on Sunday, September 12 just prior to the Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins game, featuring Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Redskins owner Dan Snyder. In addition, the world’s third-largest pizza chain has designed a customized pizza box that co-brands the partnership and utilizes NBC Sports’ award-winning “Sunday Night is Football Night” campaign with “Make Every Sunday Night a Papa John’s Night.”

With ESPN, Papa John’s will be a Presenting Sponsor of “NFL Primetime,” the network’s highly rated Sunday recap show. The sponsorship will include billboards, logo animation and “Game Ball’ features periodically throughout the season.

Also with ESPN, Papa John’s will serve as the Presenting Sponsor of “Fantasy Football Now,” which airs simultaneously Sunday’s mornings for 90 minutes on ESPN2 and The sponsorship aligns closely with Papa John’s “Fantasy to Reality” campaign, which targets the avid football fan by searching for the “Fantasy Football League that’s better than the rest.” Introduced last week, the campaign will formally kick off September 9 and run throughout the season at and the company’s Facebook page, with the winner receiving a trip to the 2011 NFL Draft in New York City.

Papa John’s will continue its Fantasy Football activation through multiple assets as part of its deal with the NFL Network, including live host mentions during the “Custom Weekly Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em” Fantasy Feature and “Top 10 Fantasy Sleepers” in the “Total Access” program. Plus, Papa John’s will be the Presenting Sponsor of the network’s “Around the League” program, as well as “Game Day Scoreboard.”

Despite doing away with its regular $10 pizza special, Papa John’s will offer “Free Toppings Football” -- a large pizza for $10 with up to three free toppings. On NFL Game Days fans can go bigger with an extra-large pizza and score up to seven free toppings.  


Topics: Marketing / Branding / Promotion , Online / Mobile / Social , Papa John's

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