In October, Pizza Hut kicked off the search for the first Pizza Hut All-American, a real, paid opportunity allowing one lucky sports fan to travel to as many NCAA championships as possible throughout the 2016—17 season. Now, after 1,000-plus submissions, Pizza Hut has found the winner of this dream experience: Jason Zone Fisher, a sports-loving, pizza-eating storyteller from Cleveland, Ohio.
Pizza Hut received submissions from 42 states. Correspondents were asked to include a video about why they would be the perfect Pizza Hut All-American, along with answering a list of 12 questions such as, “what’s your favorite sports movie,” and “tell us your most memorable Pizza Hut moment.”
In the end, Fisher—who now lives in Los Angeles—was selected for his related experience (formerly hosted a show on the Big Ten Network), love of pizza (pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, onions, and jalapeños are his top choices), understanding of social media (has developed and produced content across social media platforms) and simple, downright love of all college sports.
“We received a tremendous number of very impressive submissions from all over the country,” says Doug Terfehr, senior director, public relations and partnerships, Pizza Hut. “We believed the opportunity sounded pretty cool—watch college sports, eat amazing pizza and share that experience—but we didn’t know what to expect. We were blown away. In the end, Jason’s enthusiasm for this exceeded even our own, and his unique set of experiences makes him the perfect person to become the first-ever Pizza Hut All-American.”
Fisher will begin his official NCAA national championship tour in Terre Haute, Indiana, which will be renamed “Terre Hut” in honor of the program. An official proclamation from Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett will be announced on Friday declaring that on November 19 Terre Haute will be known as “Terre Hut.” Joining Mayor Bennett and Fisher at the event will be former NCAA National Champion and college basketball player of the year Shane Battier, who serves as the Pizza Hut All-American ambassador, as well as Indiana-native and folk-hero cross country runner Noah Droddy. Droddy is a former two-time NCAA Division III Cross Country All-American and now as a professional runner, was recently runner-up at the 10 Mile Championships. Droddy became an Internet sensation during the build up to Rio.
Droddy, Battier, Mayor Bennett, Fisher, and Pizza Hut and NCAA representatives welcome the community to the 11 a.m. ceremony for free pizza and much more.
“As the home of the NCAA Cross Country Championship, Terre Haute residents have always had a love of college sports,” says Mayor Duke Bennett. “We are honored to partner with Pizza Hut to celebrate the fandom and passion our city has for sports by renaming our beautiful city Terre Hut on Saturday, Nov. 19.”
Over the course of the 2016-17 season, Fisher will attend NCAA championships as the Pizza Hut All-American. He will travel from city-to-city and championship-to-championship, documenting his experiences online and on social media to give followers a chance to see how Pizza Hut fuels fandom and celebrates college sports around the country. He will also be responsible for uncovering little known facts and traditions about each championship, in addition to finding fans most passionate about Pizza Hut. This army of fans will ultimately be known as “Hut Lovers,” and will receive surprise-and-delight prizes from the Pizza Hut All-American throughout the tour.
“Sports and storytelling are my two biggest passions, so the opportunity to help Pizza Hut tell fun, compelling stories that revolve around championship performances and great pizza is a dream come true,” says Fisher. “I am happiest when I'm connecting with people, watching sports and eating pizza, of course, so I can’t wait for my journey to begin as the first-ever Pizza Hut All-American.”
As for the actual championship, Pizza Hut plans an epic celebration at the cross-country course. On Saturday, Droddy, with the help of the Pacers High Octane Drumline, will deliver hundreds of Pizza Hut pizzas to fans at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course.
“Running is my passion and I eat pizza after every race, so it was a no-brainer to partner with Pizza Hut to help bring awareness around and excitement for my favorite sport,” says Droddy.