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Pizza Hut boosts NFL presence with Seahawks deal

Restaurant chain Pizza Hut has agreed a multi-year deal to become the Official Pizza Sponsor of NFL American football team the Seattle Seahawks.

It marks the first NFL team partnership for Pizza Hut, which in February agreed a deal to take over from Papa John’s as the official pizza of the league.

Pizza Hut will benefit from exclusive marketing rights with the Seahawks. It will replace Papa John’s as the Seahawks’ Official Pizza Sponsor.

The Pizza Hut deal has been signed after it emerged last week that John Schnatter, chief executive of rival Papa John’s, made racially insensitive remarks during a conference call with marketing executives.

The scandal has since seen a number of US sports teams and organisations cut ties with Papa John’s. However, the Seattle Times newspaper noted that the Seahawks had already decided last March to seek a new pizza sponsor, and the team’s decision to partner with Pizza Hut was not made on the back of the Papa John’s controversy.