Little Caesars wants naming rights for your living room

Without an in-arena experience, the pizza company is activating its sponsorship in peoples' homes instead.
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Little Caesars is injecting a bit of fun into the NHL season with a campaign that has fans selling naming rights to their hockey-viewing spaces for pizza.

Developed by Little Caesar’s AOR No Fixed Address, it’s part of a North America-wide sponsorship the company has with the league, becoming “Official Pizza Delivery of the NHL” last summer. With many traditional hallmarks of a new sponsorship – like arena events – off the table, the idea to activate in peoples’ homes “is about connecting with hockey fans in a way that feels original,” says James Leake, ACD at the agency.

“We started by envisioning how NHL fans would be watching games this year and then thought about how we could make Little Caesars part of the experience in a fun way,” he says. “Since contract negotiations are such a major part of the sport we decided to tap into this and insert Little Caesars into the conversation.”

As part of the promotion, Canadians can sign a “naming rights contract” that gives them an exclusive deal on pizza every Wednesday night. In exchange, they agree to refer to their game viewing spot as the “Little Caesars NHL Hockey Room” and hang a sign in the space declaring it as such.

The promotion began in February, but to maintain momentum, the company introduced a new phase of the campaign: people who sign the contract can follow the brand on Facebook and Instagram to participate in a public negotiation process for Little Caesars to keep their naming rights and give the “rights holders” further rewards.

In addition, the company is replicating arena seat number giveaways at home by putting a sticker on each pizza box ordered on Wednesdays between March 17 and April 22. Those stickers have numbers that can be entered online for a chance to win prizes from Little Caesars and NHLShop.ca.

According to Leake, the program is part of the company’s larger strategy “to push the boundaries of how a pizza company can behave in Canada” – and so far, has been a success, with over 700 people signing over living room naming rights and generating daily social media activity for the brand.

The promotion runs throughout the NHL season, with plans for it to “keep evolving”, says Leake. “We have some fun stuff planned through our social negotiations, increasing our brand presence in people’s homes,” he adds, noting that the company hopes to continue the promotion for future seasons.

The program integrates broadcast, owned social, PR and influencer work, as well as in-game announcements. Media buying was handled by Jungle Media.