Papa John’s: ‘Football League local ties key to growing UK brand’

Pizza delivery Papa John’s is to launch its biggest UK campaign to leverage its sponsorship of the Football League as it looks to increase awareness.

Papa John’s is looking to raise awareness in local communities through its deal with the League.

The business will target football supporters with bespoke promotions through its franchisees as the centre piece of its one year deal with the League to become its official pizza provider. It will offer thousands of match tickets and promotions in partnership with the League’s 72 member clubs from next month when it kicks off a nationwide campaign to mark the start of the football season.

The sponsorship will also promote the brand’s loyalty scheme, launched at the start of the year, in a bid to  push its online delivery service.

Andrew Gallagher, director of marketing at Papa John’s, says the business is using the “successful” grassroots sponsorship model it has implemented to support its sponsorship of NFL teams. In the US, franchisees work in partnership with the local clubs to create marketing campaigns.

Gallagher adds: “Key to this deal is that it gives us access to many local clubs. We’re not as big as Domino’s and Pizza Hut, but we have an aggressive store expansion strategy to grow fast. There are many clubs near our stores and our strategy is focused around tapping into fans support for their local teams.

“We’re going to be working with the clubs alongside our franchise partners to understand what works for their fans and how we can get involved in that relationship. It’s not about attaching ourselves to some big name club, this is about building awareness at a grassroots level and getting people to taste our products.”

Papa John’s is using the tie-up as the main vehicle for developing the brand, however, it still plans to run non-football related campaigns to support upcoming initiatives. It is hoped the increased visibility will tempt potential investors and lead to more store openings near League clubs as it looks to steal share from Domino’s and Pizza Hut.

The deal is the latest in the League’s bid to grow commercial revenues, but still leaves it without a title sponsor just weeks before the start of the season. Talks with potential partners are still ongoing according to the League, although it is thought they are close to announcing a partner.

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