Papa John’s Seizes on Wins in #SMSports

Ask any sports social media manager when their traffic and engagement is highest and the response often starts “You mean beyond the obvious?” The obvious are those social media moments and posts for which it doesn’t take much thought or, let alone pricey software, are when the team wins, a milestone is reached, a player celebrates a birthday or achievement, and any other “no-brainer.” And Papa John’s gets this.


The pizza purveyor, that counts even Peyton Manning among its franchisees, is nearly ubiquitous in pro and college sports, especially offering local discounts to fans whenever the team wins. When the favorite local team wins, sports teams’ social networks reach and engagement go through the roof as fans are overcome with positive emotion. The promotion typically gives 50% off to online orders the day following the team’s victory. I love this promo because:

– It piggybacks on a positive emotional moment of fans and connects the Papa John’s brand with the team and its fans at these moments of fervor and glee. A win for the brand to be associated with these sentimental moments when fans are at their happiest.

– It connects to Papa John’s business goals (selling more pizza, getting more customers, acquiring more customer data) and is very track-able in terms of ROI (code redemptions, customers registered).

– It has a clear call-to-action for fans and includes the urgency to act soon, as it only valid the day following the game. And fans often share their joy of enjoying their Papa John’s, a way to keep that winning feeling going.


Teams know there are a handful of consistent content that will always garner the highest reach, shares, and traffic, and positive sentiment. Showcase the numbers, tie it to a partner’s business objectives, and sell it!

You know everyone is happy when the team wins. Papa John’s has jumped on it early, but opportunities still abound for teams to take advantage of the winning moments, the positive times when fan sentiment is at a zenith. Are you monetizing those moments? It’s time to start maximizing those victories, so that partners can celebrate alongside the fans. Before you go beyond the obvious, seize on the opportunities staring you in the face. There is a way to monetize social. Everyone can win.

Posted by Neil Horowitz

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