Canadian Pizza Magazine

marketing insights: Super Bowl game plan

Michelle Brisebois   

Features Business and Operations Marketing

Quick – what are the top five selling days for pizza? Halloween, the day
before Thanksgiving (U.S.), New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day clock in
at positions five through two but the grand daddy of them all remains
Super Bowl Sunday, reports U.S.-based Pizza Today magazine.

Quick – what are the top five selling days for pizza? Halloween, the day before Thanksgiving (U.S.), New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day clock in at positions five through two but the grand daddy of them all remains Super Bowl Sunday, reports U.S.-based Pizza Today magazine. Pizza’s kinship with Super Bowl parties is easy to comprehend. Pizza is a party food that’s easy to share, inexpensive and popular with most people. On average, pizzerias will see a boost in sales of about 35 per cent when the NFC and AFC go head to head in 2012. The magic date for this battle is Feb. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indiana. This will be the first Super Bowl to be played in Indianapolis. With this date being such a fantastic opportunity for pizza sales, let’s have our own pre-game huddle to prepare to win our fair share of the revenue.

 Last year, six million Canadians tuned in to the Super Bowl.

The budget
Canadians love Super Bowl. In fact, in 2010, six million Canadians tuned in to watch America’s football pinnacle while only five million tuned in to watch the Grey Cup, reported CBC. According to NFL Canada, more than 100,000 Canadians attend NFL games in the border cities of Buffalo, Detroit, Minnesota and Seattle, and some 700,000 more watch on television every week. If you were a retailer, this would be your Christmas. If you were a florist, this would be your Mother’s Day. Make sure you devote some effort to developing and advertising special offers for Super Bowl Sunday. Of your yearly marketing spend; about 15 to 25 per cent should be earmarked for a Super Bowl promotion. Advertising Age reported that 69.5 per cent of watchers buy food and beverage for the game, so the opportunity for our industry to make that food choice pizza is significant.

The offer
The average Super Bowl party will include 18 people so make sure you have a bundled offer that will feed a crowd this size. Perhaps a signature football-shaped pizza will be a draw? You can shape the dough to the right form and use strips of cheese to make the laces in the ball. Wings, chips and soft drinks are also very popular additions to the menu, so bundling a variety of these items would be a big hit. Consider a special price for people who order a few days ahead of time. This will alleviate pressure on the big day and help you plan your strategy for delivery. Start your advertising mid-January to ensure you’re top of mind while people are planning their parties. Buy some space in the sports section of your local paper and consider a direct mail piece (football shaped, of course) to drop into mailboxes mid-January. You will also want to leverage any social media tools you have at your disposal, such as Twitter and Facebook, to promote your offer.


The legalities
You must be careful with your advertising. The Super Bowl is the most profitable sporting event in the U.S., so all trademarks are defended fiercely. The terms and images that you may NOT use in your advertising include: Super Bowl, Super Sunday, the Super Bowl logo, NFL, AFC or NFC, The National Football League, American Football Conference, or National Football Conference. You may not use the name of any team or its nickname.

You may, however, use the following terms without permission: The Big Game or The Professional Football Championship Game. You may also promote the date of the game and the names of the two competing cities, as long as the team names are not mentioned. Also, you may not make any statement mocking the fact that the NFL doesn’t allow the media to use any of the forbidden terms mentioned above. If you want to learn more about the legalities of the event, visit NFL Super Bowl Trademark Regulations at .

Your team
Make sure you have boots on the ground to fill the orders. Many operators double their delivery team to ensure those pies arrive quickly. Once halftime arrives, you’ll notice the phones get much quieter, so make sure you front load your labour for earlier in the day to get everything to your customers pronto. Why not create some buzz by outfitting your team with jerseys to promote your business? Your delivery people will make quite a splash if they show up at a customer’s door in a jersey that sports your business name and a big #1 (heck, why not?). In fact, have your whole team decked out as well. The walk-in clientele will love it and the word of mouth will be invaluable. You can use the jerseys every Sunday to celebrate weekly football games, so it won’t be a one-day expense.

The relationship between the playing of the Super Bowl and the consumption of pizza is undoubtedly a strong one for most consumers. An anthropologist would have a field day analyzing it. Maybe it’s a passion for the game or a need for a midwinter party that fuels our desire to gather together around a big screen TV on a snowy February Sunday? Whatever the reason, you’ve got to love any event that gives us the phrase “wardrobe malfunction.”

Michelle Brisebois is a marketing professional with experience in the food, pharmaceutical, financial services and wine industries. She specializes in retail brand strategies.

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