Pizza Hut extends NCAA pact through '21 school year

Pizza Hut and the NCAA have signed a multi-year agreement that keeps Pizza Hut the Official Pizza of the NCAA through the 2020-2021 academic year. The designation means that the brand can activate around all 90 NCAA championships each year, including baseball, hockey, bowling, fencing, beach volleyball and others, a news release said. 

The NCAA agreement with Pizza Hut — which started in 2016 — further strengthens the pizza company's position within sports after the brand also became the Official Pizza Partner of the NFL, following the relinquishment of that affiliation between the NFL and Papa John's. Today, Pizza Hut is the only brand to have national partnerships with both the NCAA and NFL. 

"Pizza and sports are a perfect match," U.S. CMO Zipporah Allen said in the release. "From the Men's Final Four and College World Series(r), to the NFL Draft and Super Bowl, we're looking forward to feeding the passion and excitement of all sports fans at every level."

Pizza Hut will support intercollegiate athletics and student-athlete achievements through marketing programs and other initiatives at multiple NCAA championships, where it can also use official NCAA marks and media.  

"We've seen some highlight reel-worthy performances from Pizza Hut over the past few years, everything from the pizza ordering Pie Tops to the Pizza Hut Fan Challenge at many of our championships, and we can't imagine a partner who is more committed to bringing additional excitement and entertainment to NCAA fans," NCAA Director of Championships & Alliances Ellen Lucey said. 

 Pizza Hut's NFL affiliation includes the collective use of all 32 team marks and the brand said that agreement focuses on enhancing fans' at-home watching experience.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Marketing / Branding / Promotion

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