Pizza Hut, the brand that calls itself "America's No. 1 pizza company," kicked off the return of pro football by hosting the World's Greatest Pizza Party in Times Square on September 8.
The event included Pizza Hut employees serving free slices of cheese and pepperoni pizza from the company's Mobile Kitchen, a 53-foot 18-wheeler with pizza ovens, as well as a virtual pizza party on Twitter.
Throughout the day, @PizzaHut tweeted five questions, including, "In what year did Pizza Hut deliver the first pizza into space?" "What were the 2 toppings on the first online pizza order?" and "In what city is the original Pizza Hut?"
The brand asked followers to tag their answers with #WorldsGreatestPizzaParty for a chance to win a $10 gift card. It tweeted answers after naming winners for each question.
The effort resulted in nearly 1,400 tweets. Fifty followers won gift cards.
Prior to the event, the brand said it would serve approximately 5,500 slices of pizza in honor of its 55th anniversary. However, according to a tweet from @PizzaHut, the brand actually gave out 6,264 slices.
@PizzaHut has 506,000 followers - and 10.7 million Facebook fans - although the hashtag promotion was limited to Twitter. Its Twitter followers are up from 498,000 on September 6.
"Our customers have told us that Pizza Hut is often at the center of their game time experience, so we want to start the season off right," says Kurt Kane, chief marketing officer of Pizza Hut, in a prepared statement. "No pizza company will be in more households during this football season than Pizza Hut, and in celebration of that shared love for football with our fans, we're throwing a great Pizza Party in New York City just like our fans will in their homes across the country."
Pizza Hut is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. It says it delivers more pizza, pasta, and wings than any other restaurant in the world - including more than eight million slices of pizza on any given Sunday. Pizza Hut began 55 years ago in Wichita, Kansas, and operates more than 10,000 restaurants in over 90 countries.
A Pizza Hut rep did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.
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March 19, 2014