First, the NFL eschewed an alcoholic beverage with, you know, actual flavor when they chose Anheuser-Busch products as its official beer sponsor earlier this year, now they have upped the average, middle-of-the-road ante by selecting Papa John’s as its official pizza sponsor by signing a three-year, multimillion-dollar deal with the purveyors of pedestrian pizza. From the AP report:
Papa John’s, the third-largest pizza company behind Pizza Hut and Domino’s, said the sponsorship means it can use NFL logos and trademarks, including the NFL shield logo, in its advertising and marketing.
Papa John’s Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Varga said the affilation “will greatly enhance our brand-building efforts.” The Louisville-based company plans a multipronged blitz that includes advertising, promotions and digital campaigns, he said.
“To have that powerful affiliation of their branding with our branding should allow us to really see some nice, measurable results,” Varga said.
While I understand that the NFL had to go with a national brand when it selected an official sponsor, Papa John’s is hands-down the worst of the big three corporate pizza makers (Pizza Slut and Domino’s being the other two), which really isn’t saying much, but still. And while I can also appreciate and admire that Papa John guy’s rags-to-riches story, the pizza is terrible, in my opinion. I mean what’s the deal with the pepperoncini they give you with your pizza? And why only one? Don’t get me wrong, those little suckers are delicious, but are the people who are sharing the pizza supposed to split that thing or are they supposed to arm wrestle for it?
And that artificial butter sauce? Does the average person really need more grease on a pizza or are people supposed to use it to lube themselves up so they can wedge themselves through the bathroom door for the inevitable diarrhetic explosion that is sure to come within hours of feasting upon a Papa John’s pizza? Six of one, half dozen of the other, I guess. Either way, you’ll be pooping soon enough.
I suppose it makes good business sense – most people have little to no perception of what comprises a tasty pie, thus the enormous success of the national chains. Crap, people will pay hard-earned money for Little Caesar’s, for crying out loud. But any person who freely chooses to go with corporate conglomerates for their pizza-eating needs and ignores the many mom and pop-type of options available practically everywhere, all hope is lost on them anyway. They should eat up all the Papa John’s they can, I guess.
But in the end, all football fans (myself included) are more or less lemmings willing to throw ourselves off the metaphorical cliff when it pertains to anything NFL-related. If they say we should buy a certain pizza and pair it with a watered-down, tasteless beer, dammit, we probably will. Just keep delivering the goods and I’ll choke down whatever sub-par product they tell me to.