SBD/May 14, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Ditka Inks Deal With Chicago Restaurant Group As Company Expands Out Of Market

Mokena, Ill.-based Chicago Franchise Systems named Pro Football HOFer Mike Ditka spokesperson for two of its restaurants -- Al's Beef and Nancy's Pizza -- "as part of its expansion plans," according to Robert Channick of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. CFS President Dave Howey said Ditka is "a good face to put on our brand, especially as we move outside of Chicago." Channick notes Al's Beef "has expanded to 18 locations in Illinois, California and Nevada, including the soon-to-open Chicago restaurant," while Nancy’s Pizza -- already with 31 locations -- "has expanded to Atlanta and is opening a number of locations in California." Howey "plans to use Ditka to build both brands through in-store marketing, paid advertisements and other promotions." Howey said that he and Ditka also "are looking at partnering in some restaurant locations, such as Pittsburgh, the coach’s hometown" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/14).
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