Peyton Manning is the newest franchisee for Papa Johns pizza after signing a deal to open 21 stores. Peyton made good on the deal that comes on the heels of a major multiyear contract between the pizza maker and the NFL. Manning first connected with the franchise for a promotion at the 2011 Super Bowl.
“He’s the kind of partner we’re looking for, not only in marketing but in business,” said Papa John’s chief marketing officer, Andrew Varga.
Manning has since been featured in commercials with founder and CEO John Schnatter. The most recent ad shows the quarterback goading Schnatter into offering a total of 2 million free pizzas to fans who win weekly drawings, doubling the number of freebies the CEO gave away last year.
During Sunday’s game between the Broncos and Saints, Manning will star in a new commercial stating that, as a new franchisee, he, too, now gets to give away free pizzas. He also gives fans information about how to join him in becoming a franchise owner.
“It’s a smart investment now and will be long after I’m done playing football,” Manning said.
Since the NFL quarterback is an endorser for Papa John’s, it’s not clear whether he paid for the 21 franchises or was given them as part of the deal. Manning’s marketing agent, Alan Zucker, told ESPN that the particulars of the deal were confidential.
The company signed with the NFL in 2010 and has been expanding the partnership since then.
Now, it has Manning as its No. 1 pitchman.