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Pizza Hut, BK heat up NBA rivalry

Leaders at quick-service chains place friendly bet on basketball finals

It’s the Whopper vs. Stuffed Crust Pizza with hometown basketball pride and culinary bragging rights on the line as the top U.S. executives of Burger King and Pizza Hut place a fun wager on the National Basketball Association Finals game between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks.

With the best-of-seven finals deadlocked at two games each and Game 5 tonight in Dallas, Brian Niccol, Pizza Hut’s U.S. general manager, and Steve Wiborg, president of Burger King Corp., North America, announced Thursday that the executive from the losing NBA Finals city will work a day in the competition’s restaurant.

Forget about Dirk vs. LeBron and Dwyane — this match pits Niccol versus Wiborg.

Brian Niccol, Pizza Hut U.S. General Manager, and Steve Wiborg, president, Burger King Corp., North America

The tongue-in-cheek restaurant trash-talk began with this verbal shot from Niccol: “From our pizza to our prices, Pizza Hut is known for being unmatched. That’s why we decided to make an unmatched wager with our friends at Burger King Corp. We’re glad to hear they’ve accepted. Mr. Wiborg better get ready for the heat of the Pizza Hut ovens. We are sizing up his apron now.”

But Wiborg is not ready to don the Pizza Hut apron quite yet.

“We're confident Miami will flame-broil Dallas in the finals and bring home a Whopper of a victory,” Wiborg said.

“Mr. Niccol’s Burger King crew gear is already washed and pressed and our teams here can't wait to help him sharpen his grilling skills by making 'America's Favorite Burger.’ See you in Miami.”

Pizza Hut, the Yum! Brand division based in Plano, Texas, has 10,000 restaurants in 90 countries. Burger King has more than 12,250 restaurants in 76 countries and territories.

Contact Alan Snel at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @AlanSnelNRN

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