Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza announced that it signed a multi-year endorsement deal with global icon and NBA All-Star LeBron James. As one of the company’s founding investors along with Maria Shriver, Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner, film producer John Davis, and leading investor Paul Wachter, this agreement with James builds on the contributions he has been making to Blaze Pizza as an investor since 2012. Significantly expanding his role, this wide-ranging deal will see James directly involved in the brand’s marketing activities through advertising, social media, in-store appearances, and other company campaigns.
“Blaze Pizza isn’t your typical pizza chain. Their model is literally changing the future of the fast-casual industry altogether,” James says. “I initially invested in this company because I knew it was a special idea that offered something people would want. Now I’m excited to go all in with Blaze Pizza in this new role and continue to give people a whole new experience.”
In just over three years, Blaze Pizza has grown to 88 locations in 22 states, with James serving as a franchisee in its Chicago and Miami locations along with Larry Levy, founder and chairman emeritus of Levy Restaurants. In addition to his new deal with Blaze Pizza, James’ list of endorsement partners includes Nike, Beats by Dre, and Coca-Cola. Terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed.
“LeBron is the perfect ambassador for our brand because he embodies everything Blaze Pizza stands for. In everything he does, he is authentic and totally unique,” says Rick Wetzel, cofounder of Blaze Pizza. “This deal is extremely meaningful to us because LeBron has been by our side since the day we started, and we’re excited to continue to change the industry with his help.”
Since opening its first restaurant in Irvine, California, in 2012, Blaze Pizza has expanded in several major metropolitan areas including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, and Washington, D.C. Going forward, the company is scheduled to open on average one new restaurant every four days, with its milestone 200th location projected to open by the end of next year.