The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants were not the only teams to kick off football season Wednesday night, as Papa John’s Pizza used the telecast of the game to introduce its 2 Million Pizza Giveaway.
Louisville, Ky.-based Papa John’s is in the third year of a multiyear partnership to be the official pizza sponsor of the National Football League. This year’s promotion marks an escalation from previous NFL tie-ins the brand has done to drive membership in its Papa Rewards online customer loyalty program.
Last February, Papa John’s gave away a free one-topping pizza to every Papa Rewards member during Super Bowl XLVI, after a promotion that stipulated program members would be eligible if the majority of people voting at the chain’s website correctly called the result of the pregame coin flip. Quarterback Peyton Manning and former running back Jerome Bettis starred in commercials with Papa John’s founder and chief executive John Schnatter to advertise the giveaway.
Company officials credited the Super Bowl giveaway in part with driving a 1.1-percent same-store sales increase in North America during the chain’s first quarter of 2012.
For the newest promotion, Manning and Schnatter returned to commercials to promote the 2 Million Pizza Giveaway. In the 30-second spot that debuted Wednesday night, Manning misunderstands Schnatter, who wants to do a one-million pizza giveaway, resulting in the two million figure — double the number of free one-topping pizzas given to Papa Rewards members last season.
“The new NFL season brings excitement on so many levels for all 32 teams and their passionate fans, including the return of Peyton Manning,” chief marketing officer Andrew Varga said in a statement. “We’re adding to the excitement by partnering with Peyton to raise the stakes on free pizza with the launch of Papa John’s 2 Million Pizza Giveaway. All season long, our existing Papa Rewards members and new enrollees will have the opportunity to win a free large pizza and continue earning free pizza.”
In Papa John’s first season as official pizza sponsor of the NFL, its Super Bowl promotion offered a free large pizza if the game went into overtime.
Papa John’s operates or franchises more than 3,100 restaurants in North America and franchises more than 850 locations internationally.