NFL All-Pro Tight End Antonio Gates Teams with Papa John’s in Search of Fantasy Football League That’s ‘Better Than the Rest’

Two of Five Finalists Announced as Registration Continues via and on Papa John’s Facebook Page; Winner to Receive Trip to 2011 NFL Draft

NFL All-Pro Tight End Antonio Gates Teams with Papa John's in Search of Fantasy Football League That's 'Better Than the Rest'LOUISVILLE, Ky.  (Restaurant News Release)  Fantasy Football owners enter Week 10 of the NFL season with emotions ranging from manic to panic, many trying to answer the question: what moves will help me make the playoffs? Papa John’s announced a move of its own today, “acquiring” six-time NFL All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates as the official spokesperson for its “Fantasy to Reality” contest, which so far has surfaced two of five finalists who will compete for bragging rights as the fantasy football league that’s “better than the rest,” and a trip to the 2011 NFL Draft in New York City.

As the competition heats up to fill the three remaining finalists spots, Gates, one of the NFL’s and fantasy football’s perennial best performers, encouraged fantasy footballers to visit or Papa John’s Facebook page to participate.

“Most fantasy football team owners I meet think their league is the best, and now they have a chance to prove it,” Gates said. “Roster management – drop/adds, waiver wire transactions and trades – is especially important – and stressful – at this point of the season. Papa John’s search for the fantasy football league that’s better than the rest is a fun competition to take the edge off, and provides even owners who are in the basement a chance to have a fantasy win.”

Today, two fantasy leagues are one step closer to reality and the 2011 NFL Draft. Brent Johnson of Atlanta, Ga. and his league “Excessive Celebration” along with Hunt Meacham of Charlotte, N.C. and his league “The Dude Abides,” received the nod as contenders for the title of the fantasy football league that’s “better than the rest.” Over the next few weeks, three additional leagues will be announced as finalists as registration continues in Papa John’s Fantasy to Reality contest.

Gates is applying his knowledge of the game and fantasy football to the contest, collaborating to develop exchangeable badges that will bring fantasy football competitive banter to Facebook. Gate’s six pack of badges – “Better Smack Talk,” “Over-Thinker Stinker,” “Waiver Wire Wonder,” “Whiner of the Week,” “Monday Night Miracle,” and “All the Right Moves” – will be available at Papa John’s Facebook page beginning today.

The Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL, Papa John’s search for the fantasy football league that’s better than the rest is considering a mix of fun and serious ingredients that go into forming and sustaining a great league, such as: year established, original owners still participating, location of draft party, food served at league events, league name, quality of trophy, scoring system, and more.

Fantasy footballers can continue to register for the contest by filling out a short questionnaire at or at Papa John’s Facebook page. Three additional finalists, for a total of five, will be announced in coming weeks at and Papa John’s Facebook page. From December 1 through 12, an expert panel led by Gates will review each of the finalists while America casts its vote at Papa John’s Facebook page. The winner will be announced the week of December 13, just in time for fantasy football playoffs.

“Antonio certainly provides an All-Pro enhancement to our search for the fantasy football league that’s better than the rest, and we’re thrilled to have him on our team, said Andrew Varga, Papa John’s chief marketing officer. “With Antonio tied for the NFL lead in touchdown catches, I just wish I had him on one of my fantasy football teams.”

Papa John’s is in the first year of a multi-year sponsorship with the NFL and is also the Official Pizza of the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins.

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world’s third largest pizza company. For 10 of the past 11 years, consumers have rated Papa John’s No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Papa John’s also was honored by Restaurants & Institutions Magazine (R&I) with the 2009 Gold Award for Consumers’ Choice in Chains in the pizza segment. Papa John’s is the Official Pizza Sponsor of the National Football League and Super Bowl XLV, XLVI and XLVII. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at

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