The news comes as professional sports teams continue to distance themselves from Papa John's.

Share story

The naming of a new official pizza sponsor for the Seahawks — which Seattle did on Wednesday, announcing it has aligned with Pizza Hut — might normally barely elicit more than a quick glance.

But after the recent controversy involving Papa John’s and racially insensitive remarks from CEO John Schnatter, which resulted in sports teams disassociating itself with the company, pizza sponsorships are suddenly in the news.

The Seahawks, though, had earlier made it clear they had already moved on from Papa John’s, deciding last March to seek out a new pizza sponsor.

Wednesday came the official word of the partnership with Pizza Hut, which the Seahawks said is the first local NFL team partnership for the company after it became the official pizza of the NFL in February. That also happened after the NFL and Papa John’s announced they had mutually agreed to part ways.

“The Seattle Seahawks have one of the most passionate and supportive fan bases in all of sports, and we are proud to partner with the team to bring our great pizza experiences to the 12s,” said Zipporah Allen, chief marketing officer of Pizza Hut in a statement.

“Pizza Hut is an iconic brand with a strong, loyal customer base that puts the fans first in everything they do. We are extremely excited to welcome them to the Seahawks family,” said Chuck Arnold, chief operating officer, Seattle Seahawks in a statement.