Little Caesars Scores Big with NFL Partnership: Nationwide Growth and Brand Awareness
As of the close of 2022, Little Caesars, the family-owned pizza chain, secured its position as the third-largest pizza chain in the United States, boasting an impressive tally of 4,173 stores. Despite its significant size and accomplishments, Little Caesars has been somewhat discreet about its success. However, the chain’s recent partnership with the National Football League (NFL) in 2022 marked a turning point and a substantial growth opportunity.
The collaboration with the NFL, following Pizza Hut’s three-year sponsorship, has provided Little Caesars with a dual benefit. Firstly, it has exposed the brand to an enormous audience due to the NFL’s immense visibility. The average television viewership for a regular NFL season game in 2022–2023 was approximately 16.7 million, with the previous Super Bowl drawing in a staggering 113.06 million viewers. Furthermore, Little Caesars gained exposure by entering five different NFL stadiums in New Orleans, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Detroit. This strategic move introduced the brand to “hundreds of thousands” of potential new customers, effectively showcasing the brand’s unique value and offbeat personality to a broader audience.
The partnership with the NFL has not only elevated Little Caesars’ visibility but also emphasized the brand’s scale and appeal, helping prospective franchisees understand the significance of joining the Little Caesars family. As the chain expands into new territories, particularly in the Northeast, this NFL partnership has provided a national clout that was previously lacking in certain areas.
The multi-year partnership with the NFL has facilitated exclusive marketing rights for Little Caesars, allowing the brand to connect with the league, its events, and the passionate football fanbase. This partnership has led to a series of promotions, social media games, and even the introduction of new products. For example, Little Caesars offered fee-free delivery and brought back the popular Pizza!Pizza! Pregame deal, which provided perks to guests who ordered around NFL kickoffs. Notable NFL figures like George Kittle, Cam Jordan, and Ryan Fitzpatrick have starred in commercials, and the brand has partnered with Pepsi to create engaging advertisements. Moreover, Little Caesars has formed specialized branding and in-game activations with nine NFL teams, enhancing its presence in the league.
The NFL partnership has also influenced product promotion, with the introduction of the “4-Quarter Calzony,” a unique pizza-calzone hybrid. This product innovation showcases Little Caesars’ commitment to creativity and meeting the evolving tastes of its customers.
Little Caesars’ recent growth push includes expanding into new markets such as Queens, New York, and Chicago, along with signing multi-store deals with experienced franchisees. The brand is making strides in utilizing last-mile delivery and innovative technologies, such as the pizza portal and third-party delivery services, which have opened up new opportunities and markets for growth.
Little Caesars’ value-oriented approach continues to resonate with customers, offering affordable options like a large pizza starting at $8.49 and maintaining its iconic $5.55 pepperoni pizza. The brand’s flexible franchising options, ranging from $378,700 to $1.695.5 million, cater to a variety of entrepreneurs, including veterans and first responders.
While navigating the challenges of the post-pandemic landscape, Little Caesars remains optimistic about its future growth and expansion, focusing on regions like the Pacific Northwest, the Carolinas, and selected Midwestern markets. The brand is committed to delivering convenience and value to customers, making it an exciting and promising player in the pizza industry.
In conclusion, the NFL partnership has significantly elevated Little Caesars’ profile and exposed the brand to new growth opportunities, while its unwavering commitment to value and innovation continues to drive its success in the competitive pizza market.