SBD/December 22, 2011/Facilities

Pizza Hut To End FC Dallas, Stadium Naming-Rights Deal On Jan. 1

Pizza Hut wants to find "larger, more national" sports venues to sponsor
Pizza Hut as of Jan. 1 will “no longer be sponsoring FC Dallas and Pizza Hut Park,” according to Buzz Carrick of ESPN.com. The complex "will officially be re-branded FC Dallas Stadium” after the FCS title game Jan. 7. FC Dallas is “already seeking a jersey sponsor,” and will now add “a stadium sponsorship to the ongoing sponsor search for quality corporations with sponsor cash to spend.” The MLS team in a statement wrote Pizza Hut “has shifted its sports marketing philosophy and will no longer be our naming rights partner.” The removal of Pizza Hut signage from the stadium “should begin in the next few weeks” (ESPN.com, 12/21). FC Dallas PR/Communications Dir Leigh Anne Gullett said, “Our sponsorship department is actively seeking new partners. They are in discussions with several companies at this time. I know it’s something that’s a priority for our sponsorship department.” Pizza Hut PR Exec Chris Fuller said the company “made a decision to find larger, more national sports” facilities, including venues in the NBA, the NCAA and NASCAR. Meanwhile, Fuller indicated that Pizza Hut is not interested in becoming “the title sponsor of Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, which has yet to announce a naming rights sponsor” (DALLASNEWS.com, 12/21). SPORTING NEWS' Brian Straus noted the only soccer-specific stadium in MLS “that currently lacks a naming rights partner is Columbus Crew Stadium” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 12/21).
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