National pizza chain Little Caesars has replaced Pizza Hut as the official pizza sponsor of the National Football League, proving that anyone can, indeed, pull pizza out of Hut.
Pizza Hut has been the official pizza chain of the NFL since 2018, beating the league’s former pizza king, Papa John’s. But now it’s all about “Pizza, Pizza”, the New York Post reported.
“We are thrilled to welcome Little Caesars to the NFL family,” said Renie Anderson, chief revenue officer and executive vice president of NFL partnerships. “With a focus on quality and convenience, Little Caesars delivers unparalleled value to our fans, and we look forward to working together to positively impact communities across the United States.”
The NFL hasn’t had much luck with its last two pizza partners.
Papa John’s lost its grip on the NFL when plies and CEO John Schnatter resigned after sparking a furor over what critics called “racist” comment at a company meeting. He quickly quit over the comment, but later regretted quitting. He later claimed that leaving was a mistake and that he should have stayed and fought against claims that he was a racist.
While Pizza Hut hasn’t raised the ire of cancel culture, it has fallen on tough economic times. In 2020, for example, he had to close 300 locations operated by bankrupt franchisees and also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, CNBC reported at the time.
At its peak, Pizza Hut had 18,000 locations. Today, there are less than 7,000 in the United States. The business is also struggling to change direction by closing restaurants and reopening nearby as take-out stores.
This month, Pizza Hut came under fire from the right after it began offering a book on how to be a drag queen on its children’s book program.
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