Papa John’s Gave Away $58,000 Pizzas During Super Bowl 58

Papa John’s didn’t air an ad during Super Bowl 58, but the pizza chain did bring its marketing team to Las Vegas for a Super Bowl-themed stunt: delivering a pizza worth $58,000 to two sweepstakes winners, a surprise that involved baking fake money into the crust.

At a Las Vegas Papa John’s location just off the Strip, The Martin Agency and Papa John’s marketing leaders including head of brand Jaclyn Ruelle were on hand to oversee the baking process and capture footage.

The stunt is part of Papa John’s commitment to celebrating pizza culture—one of the big changes to its strategy in 2024. Last year, it tapped a new CMO from MOD Pizza, Mark Shambura, and in December he told ADWEEK that he wants to talk to consumers less and connect with them more.

“We’re on a new run,” Ruelle said. “We are working to get more of that younger fan base, those Gen Zers, brought in. This is really about engagement.”

Inside the $58,000 pizza delivery

Papa John’s general manager and TikTok influencer Jacob Bartoli was there, too. Bartoli works in one of the brand’s Florida franchises, and his pizza-making videos have attracted 641,000 followers on Instagram and 815,000 on TikTok.

To enter the $58,000 sweepstakes, Bartoli took to social channels to encourage customers to visit the Papa John’s Vegas Style Pizza website. There, they could enter the sweepstakes by signing up for the brand’s Papa Rewards program.

PepsiCo and Venmo were also involved in the stunt. To received additional entries, customers could order one of Papa John’s Epic Stuffed Crust pizzas, add a Pepsi product to their order, or opt to pay using a Venmo account. The brand’s new partnership with Venmo allows customers to pay with the app at any of its locations in the U.S.

Bartoli invited fans to enter the brand’s Vegas Style Pizza sweepstakes between Feb. 2-9. Then on Super Bowl Sunday, he showed up on one Las Vegas winner’s doorstep, alongside Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby, to hand off the pizza in a bedazzled box.

“It’s not your average pizza box. It’s got gemstones and everything that’s kind of synonymous with Vegas. We blinged it out, essentially,” Ruelle said.

Two people won the $58,000 (received via Venmo), while another 58 customers across the country received $58 in Pap John’s loyalty currency, Papa Dough.

The Martin Agency‘s first work with Papa John’s

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