Papa John’s Calls All-Out Blitz in Support of NFL Sponsorship

LOUISVILLE, Ky.  (  With the NFL’s regular season just days away, as the Official Pizza Sponsor of NFL, Papa John’s is kicking off its busiest season of the year with an integrated marketing program designed to make the football season better than ever for fans and pizza lovers.

Papa John’s NFL playbook includes special promotions and deals for fans throughout the season, a season-long partnership with NBC Sports’ “Football Night in America,” numerous customized sponsorship elements with NFL Network, as well as sponsorship of “NFL Primetime” on ESPN and “Fantasy Football Now” on ESPN2.

“Our sponsorship of the NFL is a strategic play that gives the Papa John’s brand a powerful affiliation with the NFL and co-branding elements that elevate our brand on NFL game days across the season,” said Andrew Varga, Papa John’s chief marketing officer. “As the company that has always believed that better ingredients make a better pizza, our intent as an official sponsor of the NFL is to make the football experience even ‘better’ for fans.”

To activate its partnership with “Football Night in America,” Papa John’s and NBC Sports will create co-branded customized features that will run during the popular NFL studio show, and, in many cases, feature company founder “Papa” John Schnatter, alongside NFL personalities. The first feature will run during “Football Night” on Sunday, September 12 just prior to the Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins game, featuring Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Redskins owner Dan Snyder. In addition, the world’s third-largest pizza chain has designed a customized pizza box that co-brands the partnership and utilizes NBC Sports’ award-winning “Sunday Night is Football Night” campaign with “Make Every Sunday Night a Papa John’s Night.”

“Few things go better together than pizza and football,” said Mike McCarley, NBC Sports SVP, Communications, Marketing & Promotions. “This partnership makes sense because both are strong brands that have strong ties to the NFL and are an important part of special Sunday Nights in living rooms across America, when friends and families gather for food and football.”

With ESPN, Papa John’s will be a Presenting Sponsor of “NFL Primetime,” the network’s highly rated Sunday recap show. The sponsorship will include billboards, logo animation and “Game Ball’ features periodically throughout the season.

Also with ESPN, Papa John’s will serve as the Presenting Sponsor of “Fantasy Football Now,” which airs simultaneously Sunday’s mornings for 90 minutes on ESPN2 and The sponsorship aligns closely with Papa John’s “Fantasy to Reality” campaign, which targets the avid football fan by searching for the “Fantasy Football League that’s better than the rest.” Introduced last week, the campaign will formally kick off September 9 and run throughout the season at and the company’s Facebook page, with the winner receiving a trip to the 2011 NFL Draft in New York City.

Papa John’s will continue its Fantasy Football activation through multiple assets as part of its deal with the NFL Network, including live host mentions during the “Custom Weekly Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em” Fantasy Feature and “Top 10 Fantasy Sleepers” in the “Total Access” program. Plus, Papa John’s will be the Presenting Sponsor of the network’s “Around the League” program, as well as “Game Day Scoreboard.”

To kickoff the football season in a big way for fans, Papa John’s will offer “Free Toppings Football” — a large pizza for $10 with up to three free toppings. On NFL Game Days fans can go bigger with an extra-large pizza and score up to seven free toppings.

Papa John’s is aiming to snare a bigger slice of the $30 billion pizza industry’s pie, which estimates Americans consume 350 slices of pizza per second, or approximately 100 acres per day. That’s enough pizza to cover more than 75 football fields.

Earlier this year, Papa John’s experienced the positive impact that a sponsorship with the NFL can generate. As Official Pizza Sponsor of Super Bowl XLIV, Papa John’s recorded its largest single sales day in brand history, selling more than 900,000 pizzas on Super Bowl Sunday at its 2,800 U.S. restaurants.

Papa John’s is also the Official Pizza of the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, 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 last 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 and was named 2007 Pizza Today Chain of the Year. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at

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