PLANO, TX: Pizza Hut is recruiting for a new role at the company, the Pizza Hut All-American, who will be expected to celebrate all Division I NCAA championships during the 2016-17 season.
The job has been created as part of the brand’s first season as the official pizza partner of the NCAA, and the winning candidate will receive a $50,000 salary. The company is accepting applications through November 6. The all-American begins the role on November 14, and the first championship falls on November 19.
As part of the program, Pizza Hut will activate at all 90 NCAA championships this year ¾ including Division II and Division III.
The Pizza Hut All-American will share their journey via social media and other live channels to showcase the fandom for all college sports.
PR director Doug Terfehr told PRWeek his brand chose to partner with the NCAA because it covers all sports, and the chain wanted to go beyond the biggest and most recognized sporting events. The brand also wanted to do something more than just advertise the partnership via a logo at point of sale or in a commercial.
"We thought, ‘What would be more exciting for a sports fan than having the opportunity to attend all the national championships?’" he recalls. "In order to do that, what would be more exciting is if they were able to share some of the experiences they had along the way and bring a unique experience to each and every event."
In terms of the marketing and comms strategy behind the campaign, Terfehr explained the brand is promoting it across all channels except TV.
"We are pushing this out with PR, social media, digital media, and our email program," he says. "Any way we can communicate to people that we are the official pizza of the NCAA and we are on the search for someone to receive the ultimate sports experience, we are going to do it."
The company will also leverage its external corporate global blog, which it launched last year, as part of the campaign. The job description for the Pizza Hut All-American can be found there, and that is where applications can be submitted.
Applicants are encouraged to submit videos so the brand can get a sense for their personality and how well they understand and use social media.
"As the program progresses and the all-American starts attending the different national championships, one of their primary responsibilities will be creating and sharing content through video as they visit every stop," Terfehr explains.
Different influencers will be involved with the campaign, such as former NBA and Duke star Shane Battier.
Budget information was not disclosed. Creation, a part of Weber Shandwick's network, is assisting with the campaign.
"There is a natural connection between watching sports and enjoying pizza, so now we get to bring a little more excitement to that experience and share that with fans," adds Terfehr.
This story was updated on October 18 to clarify that Creation is working on the campaign.