Pizza Factory, known for its great tasting, hand-tossed pizzas and its commitment to community involvement, has announced it is partnering with the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League (NHL).
“We are thrilled about our partnership with the San Jose Sharks,” said Mary Jane Riva, CEO of Pizza Factory, which has 111 locations throughout the country. “The San Jose Sharks, who have fans across the country, have initiatives and values that align well with ours.
“We pride ourselves on being involved in the communities we serve, and look forward to propelling our reach forward with the help of the Sharks’ national presence,” Riva continued. “Our slogan is ‘We Toss’em, They’re Awesome,’ and we’re excited for even more fans and SAP Center visitors to experience this sentiment and learn what we’re all about.”
Starting in September, Pizza Factory will be the exclusive pizza served at SAP Center at San Jose for every event during the term of the agreement. In addition to having two concessions stands on the main concourse level, Sharks fans and other SAP Center guests will have the opportunity to interact with Pizza Factory on a greater level.
A key initiative of Pizza Factory is its No Bully Zone program. With this partnership, Pizza Factory will be joining forces with the Sharks to further elevate the program and engage communities to raise awareness about bullying and create a bully-free atmosphere.
During each season of the partnership, Pizza Factory will be the presenting sponsor of a special game night designed to educate and drive positive social change and foster a more inclusive community.
Pizza Factory will also be joining the Sharks in November to raise awareness of men’s health issues with a social media based Show Us Your Stache campaign featuring Sharks personalities, fans, and Pizza Factory customers.
Pizza Factory’s debut at SAP Center will be on Sept. 3, during Kristi Yamaguchi’s Golden Moment ice skating performance.
All started in 1979
The first Pizza Factory, owned and operated by Danny and Carol Wheeler, opened in Oakhurst in 1979. Wheeler, with partners Ron and Joyce Willey (White), who owned a Pizza Factory in Mariposa, started franchising the restaurants in 1985.
The Wheelers sold the Oakhurst restaurant to an employee, Pam Latham, on April 1, 2008. About four years later, Wheeler and Willey sold the entire restaurant franchise, then with 105 locations, to Bob and Mary Jane Riva who maintain their corporate office in Oakhurst.
The original Pizza Factory concept was to open restaurants in small towns with little or no “pizza” competition, but over the years that concept has expanded to open restaurants in larger towns, such as the five outlets in Southern California that are in communities with more than 100,000 people, including Temecula and San Jose. Many of the 111 restaurants are located in towns with a population of more than 40,000 including Hesperia, Carson City, Nev. and Buckeye, Ariz.
The Wheelers are now enjoying retirement in the state of Washington
“I do not want to waiver from the original concept of Pizza Factory of being family oriented restaurants with quality food and hand-tossed pizza. I want to bring more awareness of the franchise to the public, bring encouragement and stability for our franchisees and grow the company,” Riva said.
About Pizza Factory
Founded 30 years ago, Pizza Factory has become well known for serving quality pizza, sandwiches, salads and more. The brand is recognized for its close community connections, which includes its No Bully Zone program and impactful fundraising partnerships.
Currently, there are 111 locations based in five states throughout the West Coast. Pizza Factory looks to add additional franchise locations in key markets throughout the country, with a special focus on Texas, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon and California.
About the Sharks
The San Jose Sharks are a professional ice hockey team in the National Hockey League (NHL). As members of the NHL’s Pacific Division, the team plays its home games at SAP Center in San Jose. The Sharks were founded as an expansion team in 1991 and made their NHL debut in the 1991-92 season.
To date, the Sharks have won six Pacific Division titles and advanced to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 19 of their first 25 seasons, including 12 of the last 13 seasons. The Sharks have made four Conference Final appearances in the last 13 seasons and advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016.