Champion Management may now be the fastest-growing public relations agency in the foodservice space, after being named Agency of Record for Pizza Inn and fast casual concept, Pie Five Pizza.
Founded in 2002 by veteran marketing pro Ladd Biro, the agency has experienced substantial growth since late-2011 when Biro partnered with successful entrepreneur Eric Spiritas, a business development whiz. In less than two years, the company has added several high-profile restaurants – including Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, Bennigan’s, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Bob’s Steak & Chop House, Ruffino’s, and Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, among others – to an already robust line-up of corporate and not-for profit clients.
“The team at Champion really impressed us with their creativity, energy, and professionalism throughout the agency RFP process,” says Flynn Dekker, chief marketing officer for both Pizza Inn and Pie Five. “Since they took over our accounts in June, they’ve blown our socks off with some terrific writing, outstanding media relations work, and tireless marketing and activation support for our new store openings.”
Pie Five has been named a 2013 Top 50 Restaurant Brand of the Year and one of “10 Hot New Restaurant Chains from Established Brands” by Forbes.com.
Champion is a full-service marketing, branding, and public relations agency based in the Dallas suburb of Plano, Texas. While the firm has recently enjoyed particular success in the foodservice space, its clientele spans a wide array of industries including high tech, event production, banking, hospitality, sports and entertainment, commercial equipment, and not-for-profits.
“We’re honored to team up with a strong legacy brand like Pizza Inn as well as the rapidly growing leader of the fast-casual pizza category, Pie Five,” says Biro, an award-winning writer and publicist. “We’ve cultivated a specific expertise in the foodservice space that has been attracting quite a bit of attention to us lately, and that’s helped fuel our growth. That, and Eric’s uncanny salesmanship.”
Champion’s services are customized to the needs of each client. Virtually all of its clients take advantage of the firm’s public relations expertise. Several rely on its social media prowess, while others – including Pie Five and Pizza Inn – tap into its flair for organizing new store openings and local market activation, new market introductions, and cause-related marketing.
“It’s becoming very clear that Pie Five is the ‘next big thing’ in the fast-casual category, so we couldn’t be more pleased to be entrusted with their account,” says Spiritas, whose background includes ownership of multiple retail businesses. “With blue-chip clients spanning the QSR (quick service restaurant), fast casual, casual dining, and fine dining segments, Champion is going to be a major player in the restaurant industry for some time.”
Champion’s services also include sports marketing, strategic brand consulting, and crisis management. The latter was recently put to the test when its client, nationally syndicated TV and radio personality Kidd Kraddick, died suddenly and unexpectedly on July 27.