For LeBron James, the choice seemed to come easy. No matter how lucrative, he had to walk away from an endorsement deal with McDonald’s, one of the largest restaurant chains in the U.S. and overseas, so that he can support Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, a pizza chain he had been an investor of since it started in 2012.
Recently, Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza has announced that NBA icon LeBron James did sign a multi-year endorsement deal with the company where he will be involved a lot of marketing activities such as advertising, social media, in-store appearances as well as other brand campaigns. Blaze Pizza is currently ranked as the overall #2 brand in the Fast Casual Top 100. It was founded by Elise and Rick Wetzels, who also co-founded Wetzel’s Pretzels. Meanwhile, aside from LeBron James, the brand had also attracted other popular investors such as Maria Shriver, movie producer John Davis and Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner.
Blaze Pizza is all about serving 11-inch artisanal pizzas that can even be custom built. The company’s Executive Chef Bradford Kent, who is also known as the “Pizza Whisperer,” has developed a recipe for a pizza dough that produces thin, crisp, “light-as-air” crust. Meanwhile, to cater to special dietary needs, Blaze also offers gluten-free dough as well as vegan cheese.
Blaze Pizza opened its first location in Irvine, California back in 2012. Since then, the ever-growing pizza chain has opened restaurants in various other locations including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Las Vegas and Washington D.C. To date, Blaze Pizza has 88 locations across 22 states. Moreover, the company hopes to open its milestone 200th location by the end of 2016 while also being able to open one new restaurant every four days.
As for LeBron James, his endorsement deals with Coca-Cola, Beats by Dre and Nike continues.