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Papa John's Opens The Gates For NFL 'Fantasy to Reality' Campaign

November 11, 2010: Papa John’s continues to enhance its first full season as an official partner of the NFL with the signing of San Diego Chargers defensive end Antonio Gates as the spokesperson for its “Fantasy to Reality” contest.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Gates, who has played his entire eight-year career with the San Diego Chargers is a six-time Pro Bowl selection at tight end. An injury this past week forced him to miss the first NFL game of his career.

“Fantasy to Reality” contest, which launched earlier this season, is offering as its top prize a trip to the 2011 NFL Draft in New York. Marketing includes print, POP and Internet, including social networking sites Facebook and Twitter pages for both Papa John's and Gates. (Full details here.)

Louisville, Kent.-based Papa John's is in its rookie season as the official pizza sponsor of the NFL, and also is the official sponsor of Super Bowls XLV, XLVI and XLVII. In addition, Papa John’s is the official pizza of the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins.

Marketing for the  “Fantasy to Reality”  contest directs consumers to first fill out a short questionnaire at Papa John's Web site or Facebook page to enable their fantasy league to become eligible for the competition. Five finalists will be named this month. Then, from Dec. 1-12,  a panel led by Gates will review each of the finalists, which also will be scrutinized by visitors to the site. The winner will be announced the week of Dec. 13, in time for Papa John's fantasy football playoffs.

Gates and Papa John's have also collaborated to develop exchangeable trash-talk badges "that will bring fantasy football competitive banter to Facebook," including “Better Smack Talk,” “Over-Thinker Stinker,” “Waiver Wire Wonder,” “Whiner of the Week,” “Monday Night Miracle” and “All the Right Moves.”

"Most fantasy football team owners I meet think their league is the best, and now they have a chance to prove it."

“Most fantasy football team owners I meet think their league is the best, and now they have a chance to prove it,” Gates, a veteran fantasy football player, said in a statement. “Papa John’s search for the fantasy football league that’s better than the rest is a fun competition to take the edge off, and provides even owners who are in the basement a chance to have a fantasy win.”

According to Andrew Varga, Papa John's CMO, "Antonio certainly provides an All-Pro enhancement to our search for the fantasy football league that's better than the rest, and we're thrilled to have him on our team. With Antonio tied for the NFL lead in touchdown catches, I just wish I had him on one of my fantasy football teams."

Papa John's Gets Bigger Slice Of NFL Pie

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