Little Caesars takes the NFL’s ‘official pizza’ title from Papa John’s

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Looks Like Little Caesars Made Pizza Hut: The National Football League Introduces Pizza Hut After Almost Five Years.

Instead, Little Caesars has been named the NFL’s official pizza in a new sponsorship deal, replacing Yum Brands Yum, the pizza chain down 0.77%, the NFL said Tuesday.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Little Caesar to the NFL family,” said Renee Anderson, chief revenue officer and executive vice president of NFL Partnerships. “With a focus on quality and convenience, Little Caesars offers our fans unmatched value, and we look forward to working together to positively impact communities across the United States.”

Little Caesars has been around since 1959 and is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan.

“This partnership aims to increase the fun of Game Day by providing the quality and convenience that Little Caesars is known for among NFL fans across the country,” said Dave Scrivano, CEO of Little Caesars, in the press release. “And because we are the price leader in the pizza industry, at a time when food prices are skyrocketing, hungry fans can enjoy weekly game meals at a very affordable price.”

According to the 2020 Pizza Power Report, Little Caesars is the third largest pizza chain in the United States by total sales, behind Domino’s DPZ and Pizza Hut.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the NFL and Little Caesars were not immediately available for comment on this story. However, partnership deals with the NFL typically last three to seven years and cost at least $10 million a year for smaller companies, sports partnership consultancy IEG told CNBC. But the more well-known companies can pay upwards of $200 million a year. Anheuser-Busch BUD, -1.10%, reportedly pays the NFL more than $250 million a year for official beer and hard selzer rights, while Diageo DEO, -2.34%, has official hard selzer rights at 30 million US dollars per year. NFL.

This partnership agreement gives Little Caesars exclusive marketing rights as the Official Pizza for NFL televised games and live events. Under the terms of the agreement, Little Caesars will be able to use the NFL branding on its packaging and on its social media platforms including Snap Snap, -0.92% and Twitter TWTR, +0.51%.

And the NFL’s new pizza deal caused a lot of buzz on Twitter Tuesday, bringing “Little Caesar” into play in the US. The pizza chain also tweeted “time to start practicing our touchdown dance” from its official account.

The NFL and other esports organizations are certainly no strangers to deals like this. Many brands want a piece of the NFL pie, so companies pay to become “the official __ of the NFL” to gain credibility by being associated with the league. For example, the world’s major football leagues have an official winery (E. & J. Gallo Winery); an official hardware store (Lowes Low, -1.83%); And an official headphone and headset (Bose).

NFL analyst Mike Florio suggested that this latest NFL pizza sponsorship was mostly about which company was willing to offer the best. Finally, Papa John’s PZZA held that title at -0.75% before Little Caesar’s and Pizza Hut’s became the Football League’s “official pizza.”

“Four years ago, Pizza Hut replaced Papa John’s,” Florio wrote. “Now Little Caesars is coming up with a better deal than Pizza Hut.”

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