Pizza Hut has ended Papa John’s 8-year-reign as the official pizza partner of the National Football League.
The four-year deal will give Yum Brands-owned Pizza Hut an array of exclusive marketing rights centered around NFL.
Under the agreement, NFL will work closely with Pizza Hut to facilitate local and exclusive team partnerships along with the collective use of all 32 team marks. The new alliance will roll out during the 2018 NFL Draft slated to be held in April near NFL’s global headquarters in North Dallas.
Pizza Hut will also have the opportunity to leverage game tickets and unique fan experiences to all NFL games in marketing and promotional campaigns throughout each year.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, “We are thrilled to have Pizza Hut, an industry leader and one of America’s favorite brands, as an official league sponsor.”
“With a focus on family, friends and fun, Pizza Hut has the creativity we are looking for in a partner and we look forward to working together with them to make the at-home NFL experience more exciting than ever for our fans,” Goodwell added further.
The announcement comes after Papa John’s, which had been the league’s sponsor since 2010, announced that it would end its sponsorship of the league. The pizza chain had blamed declining sales to NFL’s poor response and handling of widespread players protest.
Papa John’s, in its statement, said that the decision to part with NFL was mutual and it will now focus on partnerships with 22 local NFL teams, presence in broadcast and digital media, and key personalities in the sport. It will also continue to engage with football fans and promote their brand on new platforms.
Papa John’s, serving as official pizza of the league since 2010, had extended their partnership in August 2016.