Pizza Hut Teams up With NFL Star Running Back Todd Gurley To Tackle Childhood Literacy

Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL leverages partnerships with NFL teams and players to inspire young readers & raise funds for nonprofit First Book

PLANO, Texas (November 27, 2018) – Nearly 35 years after launching its iconic BOOK IT! program, Pizza Hut is expanding its commitment to literacy through its partnership with the National Football League by joining forces with Pizza Hut NFL player ambassadors and team partners to shine a spotlight on the importance of reading to kids and parents across the nation.

This Giving Tuesday, Pizza Hut is teaming up with Los Angeles Rams All-Pro running back Todd Gurley to amplify his commitment to childhood reading through activations in the community, on the field and across social media during Weeks 13-15 of this NFL season.

“In our first year as the Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL, we have a powerful opportunity to work with the League, its teams and players to do even more to support childhood literacy – a cause Pizza Hut has championed for more than three decades,” said Marianne Radley, chief brand officer, Pizza Hut, U.S. “The support of these NFL players really exemplifies their commitment to success on and off the field for kids across the country, and we’re privileged to work with athletes like Todd Gurley. His passion for literacy will not only inspire young readers but will also help drive awareness for this critical social issue we’re hoping to improve.”

This year, Todd will champion literacy for the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats initiative by wearing custom-designed Nike cleats dedicated to reading during the LA Rams home game on Dec. 16. The cleats feature Todd’s children’s book of choice, “The Magician’s Hat” written by fellow NFL player Malcolm Mitchell, and Pizza Hut partner First Book, a nonprofit dedicated to creating equal access to quality education for children in need.

“Growing up, I was taught that reading and writing were the foundation for my education,” said Todd Gurley, running back for the Los Angeles Rams. “Knowing the importance of literacy programs for kids across the country, I’m teaming up with First Book and my fellow Georgia alumni and Super Bowl champion Malcolm Mitchell, author of ‘The Magicians Hat’, for My Cause My Cleats.”

Leading up to their designated My Cause My Cleats home game on Dec. 16, the LA Rams and Pizza Hut will bring children from Inglewood together for a once-in-a-lifetime reading event with Todd to further emphasize the importance and power of reading.

“My Cause My Cleats is a great way to showcase the philanthropic passions of NFL players,” said NFL SVP of Social Responsibility Anna Isaacson. “We are proud to highlight the hundreds of players who make a tremendous impact on our communities every day.”

The brand is also extending its relationship with Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who teamed up with BOOK IT! earlier this season to surprise students at a Seattle school, spending the afternoon with them to discuss the power of reading and imagination. In late December, Pizza Hut, the Seahawks and Tyler will host another special reading event in Seattle to inspire young readers in the local community.

Pizza fans nationwide can get involved in supporting childhood literacy by ordering a brand-new bundle deal Pizza Hut is rolling out today at participating stores. The limited-edition deal – The First Book Bundle – will include a $1 donation to First Book for every purchase. The deal is available starting today until Dec. 31 and includes two large three-topping pizzas and breadsticks, starting at $20.99*.

Pizza Hut has a long-standing commitment to literacy, beginning in 1984 when it founded the iconic BOOK IT! Program and strengthened through Pizza Hut: The Literacy Project, a global commitment to impacting 100 million lives by enabling access to books and educational resources, empowering teachers and inspiring readers. To bring this to life, Pizza Hut raises funds annually in support of First Book.

To learn more about childhood literacy initiatives at Pizza Hut and how the brand is working with the NFL, visit or head to to order now.

* Pizza Hut customers must ask/click for deal. Additional charge for extra cheese, crust type and extra toppings may apply. Price, participation and combinability of discounts vary. 

About Pizza Hut®
Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM ), has more restaurant locations in the world than any other pizza company. Founded in 1958 in Wichita, Kan., Pizza Hut operates over 16,800 restaurants in more than 100 countries.

With easy order options including the Pizza Hut app, mobile site, and Amazon and Google devices, Pizza Hut is committed to providing an easy pizza experience – from order to delivery – and has the only national pizza loyalty program, Hut Rewards, in the U.S. that offers points for every dollar spent on food any way you order.

Pizza Hut is also the proprietor of The Literacy Project, an initiative designed to enable access, empower teachers and inspire a lifelong love of reading. The program is rooted in the foundation set by the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program, which is the longest-running corporate supported literacy program, impacting more than 14 million students each year. For more information, visit Pizza Hut is the Official and Only Pizza Sponsor of the NFL and NCAA®.

Media Contact:

Brett LeVecchio, Pizza Hut

image of a young woman laying in the grass, smiling and reading a book. There is light blue boxes with purple text that say, 'Share Your Favorite Summer Read for Our New Online Album. Take a selfie with your favorite summer read and upload it by July 22 to celebrate our First Book family and the work we’re doing together! Send your selfie.'