NakedPizza gets boost from Mark Cuban

NEW ORLEANS NakedPizza, a social-networking-savvy pizza restaurant here, said it got slammed Friday with its Twitter-based “Eat Like an Ancestor” promotion, which comes days after the concept got a major investment from Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team and chairman of HDNet television.

By Friday afternoon, NakedPizza co-founder Jeff Leach said the natural-pizza concept was experiencing its highest sales day since being founded in 2006 and that 70 percent of the sales were from the promotion on Twitter.

ATwitter “couponing” effort in April yielded about 15 percent of sales, said Leach, an anthropology doctoral candidate who started NakedPizza with real estate investor Randy Crochet.

Leach said the executives at Twitter were monitoring the results of NakedPizza’s Ancestor promotion, which featured a pie shaped like Africa with a selection of 26 natural ingredients as toppings.

The restaurant does only carryout and delivery of its pizzas, which have a multigrain crust with heat-resistant probiotics. The store also offers gluten-free crusts.

Leach said NakedPizza made a bid for Cuban’s investment when he sent out a request for investment proposals earlier this year. The negotiations took about three months.

As part of the agreement, Cuban has been awarded area developer rights for the state of Texas. Though the total number of stores to be opened in the state by Cuban has not been disclosed, NakedPizza co-founder Randy Crochet said, “Texas represents a great opportunity for our brand and the market will support between 50 and 75 units.”

In addition to the Texas development rights, Cuban also owns an equity stake in NakedPizza's parent company, WHP Holding LLC, and its soon to be launched franchising division. WHP comes from NakedPizza’s early name, World’s Healthiest Pizza.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected] [3].