How Pizza Hut Is Gaining Ground With the NFL

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Football is here and most of the country seems to be wrapped up in all the storylines going on across the league, whether it’s the resurgence of the Cleveland Browns or the new highly controversial roughing the passer rule.

One storyline that has been followed closely in the markets has been that Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) subsidiary Pizza Hut has taken over as the official pizza of the National Football League (NFL), ousting Papa John’s International Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA).

In a recent interview with CNBC, Pizza Hut U.S. President, Artie Starrs said that the pizza chain is already seeing benefits to its NFL partnership with the new season underway. Starrs reiterated that Pizza Hut’s partnership with the NFL couldn’t have gone any better to date, as evidenced by a significant uptick in brand sentiment and encouraging social media activity.

Although Starr did say that he was not able to comment on the intra-quarter sales figures, he did confirm that advertisements were met with immediate responses from customers.

Back in February, Pizza Hut inked a multiyear agreement with the NFL after the league had dropped Papa John’s which had been the official pizza sponsor since 2010.

Shares of Yum Brands were last seen trading at $90.63, with a consensus analyst price target of $90.00 and a 52-week trading range of $73.81 to $91.27.

Papa Johns was trading up about 2% at $50.17. The consensus price target is $51.17, and a 52-week range is $38.05 to $72.22.