Pizza Hut is making a comeback. Its NFL deal is one reason why

New York (CNN Business)Pizza Hut had struggled to compete against Domino’s and Papa John’s for the past few years. But that’s changing now that the company is about to start its second year as the official pizza sponsor for the National Football League. “The first year with the NFL helped us increase brand awareness and reach a new audience we hadn’t had previously,” said Pizza Hut CEO Artie Starrs in an interview with CNN Business. Starrs, who had been president of the company’s US operations, was promoted in August to CEO of the entire chain. That puts him in charge of the company’s global operations, which have nearly 20,000 restaurants in about 120 countries worldwide. Pizza Hut plans to be …