Papa John’s Pizza, the official pizza sponsor of the National Football League, is introducing a Thursday Night Football Fan Deal and a concurrent social media sweepstakes offering a trip to the Super Bowl.

The move adds another NFL-related promotion to the company’s marketing calendar this year.

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Louisville, Ky.-based Papa John’s already has a giveaway in place through Sunday offering 25 free Papa Rewards points to members of its loyalty club who use an offer code, “TOUCHDOWN,” on orders of $18 or more. For the past several years, Papa John’s has also tied a systemwide giveaway promotion to the broadcast of the Super Bowl.

For the Thursday Night Football Fan Deal, Papa John’s has developed commercials starring chain founder John Schnatter and NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen, in which a new combo deal will be announced during every Thursday night NFL game, including tonight’s contest between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets.

The first offer in this season-long campaign is a large one-topping pizza, cheese sticks and a two-liter bottle of Pepsi for $17.

Fans also can tweet pictures of themselves enjoying Papa John’s Pizza and include the hash tag #TNFISBETTER for a chance to win a free trip for two to Super Bowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, N.J., on Feb. 2, 2014.

“We are excited to partner with the NFL Network and Pepsi on this great promotion that will deliver throughout the football season,” Schnatter said in a statement. “There’s no better way to enjoy the NFL Network’s great lineup of Thursday night games than with Papa John’s and Pepsi.”

Other restaurant brands, while not official sponsors of the NFL, have leveraged the football league in their advertising recently, including a major kickoff event for Pizza Hut in New York’s Times Square for the first Sunday of the regular season Sept. 8, in which it handed out 5,500 free slices of pizza.

Dunkin’ Donuts will promote its smartphone app and iced coffee in the New York metro area with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, including with the “Eli’s Way to Pay Instant Win Sweepstakes,” which will offer 10 winners the chance to join Manning at the Giants’ training facility this fall.

Papa John’s operates or franchises more than 3,220 restaurants in North America and about 1,000 units in its 34-country international division.

Contact Mark Brandau at
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN