Pizza Hut to sponsor cars in 5 NASCAR races

DALLAS — Pizza Hut announced a five-race NASCAR sponsorship of cars driven by Terry Labonte and Brian Vickers.

According to a news release from Hendrick Motorsports, owner of the two race teams, Pizza Hut will be the primary sponsor in three Nextel Cup races on Labonte's No. 44 car, and in two Busch series races on Vickers' No. 57 car.

Pizza Hut said in a news release that the sponsorship will include a new commercial starring Hendrick drivers Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Labonte and Vickers, and promote the chain's new Family Race Pack. The $16.99 deal includes a large one-topping pizza, bread sticks, cinnamon sticks, a 2-liter of Pepsi, napkins and plates. It is available for dine-in, carryout or delivery (where available).

"This is our first foray into anything NASCAR. We're really excited to team with Hendrick Motorsports because they're a winning team that is family-oriented," said Tom James, chief marketing officer, Pizza Hut. "We know NASCAR is a family sport — families gather to watch the races, racing teams are family-owned and many drivers have siblings and parents racing with them on the track — so it's a natural connection for us."

Pizza Hut is supporting the Race Pack's introduction with an estimated $12 million marketing plan including national network and cable television advertising, radio, direct mail, online initiatives and in-restaurant point-of-purchase materials.

Rival Domino's Pizza entered into NASCAR sponsorship in 2004, both as the Official Pizza of NASCAR, and as a secondary sponsor on the Michael Waltrip's No. 15 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

Topics: Marketing, Pizza Hut

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