Late last year, Pizza Hut executives promised a heavier marketing focus on its WingStreet concept. During an analyst call in December, CEO Scott Bergren said the chicken wing brand will be a bigger priority in 2014, with an uptick in delivery and, for the first time ever, a national advertising campaign.
Pizza Hut will leverage the popular wing-and-pizza-eating March Madness occasion to kick off that campaign. The company announced today that its WingStreet concept has been rolled out nationally, and is now present in more than 5,000 restaurants.
Also starting today, customers can get an order of eight WingStreet wings with choice of any sauce starting at $5. The promotion is available for delivery, as well as carryout or dine-in.
According to a news release, WingStreet wings are kitchen-fried and tossed with a choice of one of eight sauces, including Buffalo Mild, Buffalo Medium, Buffalo Burnin' Hot, Spicy Asian, Spicy BBQ, Honey BBQ, Lemon Pepper and Garlic Parmesan. Consumers can also choose from several varieties of wings including traditional, bone-out or crispy bone-in.
"People are serious about their wings, and the pizza category as a whole has not delivered a quality chicken product that consumers demand," said Jared Drinkwater, senior director of Marketing, Pizza Hut. "But that all changes now that our WingStreet wings are available in more than 5,000 Pizza Hut restaurants nationwide. We pride ourselves in being the only national pizza chain to offer delicious, kitchen-fried chicken wings with a variety of sauces that live up to what wing lovers want. And the fact that we'll deliver them to your door sets us apart from even the most respected wing joints in America."
Van Pelt joins WingStreet team
As part of WingStreet's inaugural marketing campaign, Pizza Hut has partnered with sportscaster and radio host Scott Van Pelt, who stars in the commercial.
Van Pelt is also helping Pizza Hut and WingStreet rally support of the brand's "winged team challenge" during the men's NCAA Basketball Tournament. If a "winged" team — any school with a nickname or mascot with wings — wins the national championship on April 7, customers can receive a free sample 4-count of wings on April 10 from 1-4 p.m. at participating locations.
Last year's tournament featured a winged winner — the University of Louisville Cardinals.
Also, throughout the tournament, Pizza Hut is also making daily free deliveries of WingStreet wings to select fans who tweet @PizzaHut using the hashtag #WingsDelivered.