The NFL has named Pizza Hut its new official pizza sponsor. In addition to football star-filled TV ads, the Pizza Hut is launching a new digital platform called Game Plan, which offers users deals, kickoff reminders for their favorite teams and weekly football-themed giveaways. Prizes will include Super Bowl LIII tickets, Bose speakers, New Era caps, Pizza Hut gift cards and more. Each order placed using a corresponding Hut Rewards account will count as an additional entry to win prizes, with a limit of one per day.
But Pizza Hut’s most engaging activation is on its boxes. The company is releasing special edition pizza boxes featuring all 32 NFL team logos, which will only be available during the regular season. In addition to feeding fans while helping them back their favorite teams, the boxes offer something extra—an augmented reality experience.
To play, users need to download the Beanbag Blitz app, which recreates the classic tailgate game Cornhole. It can be played as an ordinary mobile game, but in order to unlock the augmented reality feature, players point their smartphone’s camera to at the special edition pizza box. Once done, players can take turns with friends tossing virtual bean bags into a mixed reality hole.
“Our first national NFL campaign is all about delivering new and innovative experiences to football fans’ living rooms all season long,” said Zipporah Allen, chief marketing officer at Pizza Hut US, speaking with AList. “The new ‘Hut, Hut, Hut’ boxes, compatible with our newly launched Beanbag Blitz augmented reality game, serve as an interactive platform to immerse fans directly into some friendly game day competition.”
Pizza Hut is promoting the game through email banners, the company’s own social channels and public relations.
In a related announcement, Allen said, “We tapped into technology to deliver a truly immersive gameday experience to fans—specifically combining what they’re most passionate about: their team, the spirit of competition, and of course, pizza. Incorporating this AR component into our lineup of new experiences is broadening our digital portfolio and engaging fans in a completely new way.”
Offline, Pizza Hut will also tap into the energy of local fanbases through partnerships with the Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams. Fans will be treated to local activations, social impact initiatives and player partnerships throughout the season.