NFL gets Pizza Hut to replace Papa John's as official pizza sponsor

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The NFL and Pizza Hut announced Wednesday the Texas-based restaurant chain will become the league’s official pizza sponsor, a rapid replacement for Papa John’s, which on Tuesday said it would no longer be the league's official pizza sponsor.

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Papa John’s dropped its NFL sponsorship months after company founder and former CEO John Schnatter in November 2017 publicly criticized the NFL’s handling of national anthem protest.

The Pizza Hut deal is for more years remaining (four) and for more money than privately held Papa John's, which became the NFL's official pizza sponsor in 2010, was paying, Sports Business Journal said.

Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM), has 7,600 restaurants across the U.S. and more than 16,700 in more than 100 countries.

“The Pizza Hut partnership with the NFL includes collective use of all 32 team marks. It also involves the NFL working closely with Pizza Hut to facilitate local, exclusive team partnerships," the company and the NFL said in a joint statement. “Pizza Hut will have the opportunity to leverage game tickets and unique fan experiences to all NFL games in marketing and promotional campaigns throughout each year.”

The NFL said that the agreement is for multiple years and "will first unfold" during the draft for this year. As part of the sponsorship, Pizza Hut can use NFL tickets and "unique fan experiences" for games in its marketing, the league said.

Shares of YUM! were off 0.48% in premarket trading.