National pizza chain Little Caesars has replaced Pizza Hut as the official pizza sponsor of the National Football League, proving that Pizza the Hut can actually be surpassed by someone.
Pizza Hut has been the official pizza chain of the NFL since 2018, beating out the league’s previous king of pizza, Papa John’s. But now it’s “pizza, pizza,” reported the New York Post.
“We are extremely excited 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 offers unmatched value for 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 control of the NFL when Flounder and CEO, John Schnatter, resigned after sparking anger over a comment critics called “racist” during a company meeting. He soon resigned over the comment, but then regretted quitting. He later claimed leaving was a mistake and that he should have stayed and fought claims he was a racist.
While Pizza Hut hasn’t drawn the wrath of the abandonment culture, it has endured some tough economic times. In 2020, for example, it had to close 300 locations operated by bankrupt franchisees and also file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, CNBC reported at the time.
At its peak, Pizza Hut had 18,000 locations. Today it has fewer than 7,000 in the US. The company is also struggling to change direction, closing restaurants and reopening nearby as takeout outlets.
This month, Pizza Hut faced criticism from the right after it began offering a book on how to become a drag queen in its children’s book program.
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