This January will offer a whopping 172 hours of televised football, driving an estimated 350 slices of pizza sold per second during the month, according to Papa John's.
Looking to further leverage its official NFL pizza sponsorship and establish an annual marketing platform, the chain has declared January "National Football Month" and created a dedicated site (nationalfootballmonth.com), being promoted as "your home for all things football."
Papa John's will promote the special site and its month-long activities via TV commercials during January -- new versions of its "Papa's in the House" TV commercial campaign featuring founder/CEO John Schnatter making personal pizza deliveries to homes around the country, a spokesperson confirms.
One core traffic-driver for the National Football Month promotion -- which will also be featured on the chain's pizza boxes during the month -- is a "Be in the House with Papa at Super Bowl XLIV" sweepstakes with a grand prize of a trip for two to the big game and a year of free Papa John's pizza.
The site will also feature "exclusive" weekly offers for online-ordered pizzas and a charitable offer tie-in with Super Bowl XLI Champion Coach Tony Dungy, who has been designated honorary chairman for 2010's "inaugural" National Football Month. Dungy will appear in videos promoting the offer, in which his charity, All Pro Dad (dedicated to "helping men become better fathers") will receive a $1 contribution for every All Pro Dad Special ordered online during January.
Other site draws include a full game calendar and areas offering National Football Month "facts and stats" and party planning assistance (the last devoted to a listing of various Papa John's pizza and combo meal deals and the number of partygoers each serves).
The site includes quick links into the brand's YouTube and Twitter areas, but the big social media/email address-capturing push focuses on Facebook.
The brand, which already boasts nearly 757,000 Facebook fans, has devoted prominent areas on the campaign site to showcasing posts about the special month on its Facebook page, along with links to sign up as a Papa John's fan or participate in interactive football polls in the Facebook area.
Site users also are being encouraged to sign a Facebook-housed "formal petition" to make National Football Month an official holiday on the 2011 calendar. In addition, the brand's Facebook area features a "Fan of the Week" contest in which football enthusiasts can upload photos for a chance to win a $50 Papa John's gift card to be awarded each week.
In a separate marketing effort designed to cap the brand's year-long 25th anniversary campaign, Papa John's will have prominent exposure on New Year's Eve, via a live video stream of the festivities in New York's Times Square on its Facebook page.
Schnatter will appear on a stage in Times Square to lead the crowd in "a special chant" before releasing thousands of pieces of confetti -- each of which will bear a code for a special offer available on the brand's main Web site (papajohns.com).
Some Times Square revelers will also find themselves appearing in more new versions of the "Papa's in the House" TV commercials, which will incorporate footage filmed by the brand for that purpose during the event.
Throughout the New Year's Webcast, the brand will also serve up special offer promotion codes for pizzas ordered online.
Papa John's, which opened 63 U.S. restaurants and closed 53 during 2009's first nine months, reported flat comparable-store domestic sales for the year's third quarter. However, it also raised its full-year '09 diluted EPS guidance (to a range of $1.42 to $1.46) and reported gains in both restaurant profitability and brand market share.
Domino's Pizza also reported flat same-store domestic sales in 2009's third quarter, while Yum Brands' Pizza Hut experienced a 13% decline in U.S. same-store sales during the period.