GVSU set to host second annual Pizza Wars

GVL / Archive
Breland Hogan (1) directs a play at the top of the key last year.

GVL Archives

GVL / Archive Breland Hogan (1) directs a play at the top of the key last year.

Bryce Derouin


No other word can grab a college student’s attention more than that one singular word. Maybe “cops,” but that’s a totally different discussion.

This Saturday, from 6-8 p.m., Grand Valley State University students will have the opportunity to enjoy free pizza from all of the local vendors, while supporting the Laker men’s and women’s basketball teams as they take on Northwood University.

“Just like any of our other promotions, our promotions team gets together to come up with a concept,” said Doug Witte, digital media manager at GVSU. “We know that our demographic, college students, love pizza. We have quite a few great pizza places here in the Grand Rapids area, but the state of Michigan is known for pizza with a number of pizza franchises headquarters in the state of Michigan.”

The participating vendors include Jet’s Pizza, Papa Johns, Hungry Howie’s, Peppino’s, Pizza Hut, Mancino’s, Little Caesars and Uccello’s.

Fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorites in different categories. The different categories include Student Choice, Golden Pizza (overall best), Best Specialty and Judges’ Choice Award.

“We’re just trying to bring the fans out to the game and bring them a cool, new experience,” said Courtney Zudweg, athletic corporate relations director. “The pizza tasting voting is free, so it’s a cool different thing to do, as well as just get new businesses involved in the community. It’s a cool way to get the community involved in Grand Valley athletics.”

This is the second annual year that Pizza Wars has been hosted at GVSU. Last year was the inaugural year of the event and the vendors enjoyed the exposure that came with Pizza Wars.

“Jet’s Pizza is a proud partner of GVSU Athletics,” said Jim Pettyes, owner of Jet’s Pizza in Allendale and Standale. “We love giving back to the community with events like Pizza Wars.”

The vendors look forward to showcasing their product to college students, who are one of their biggest demographics. Showing off their products to students is a way for restaurants to gain more customers.

“They’re pretty excited,” Zudweg said. “Some of them work with us normally and some of them are new. It’s just a friendly competition between pizza vendors. Just kind of a different way to outside of the typical advertising to get involved, so they’re pretty excited.”

Both the GVSU men and women have enjoyed success on their home court in Allendale. The men boast an 8-1 record at home, while the women have an impressive 7-1 record.

“Anytime we do any sort of game day promotion, it is to drive the focus to our basketball teams,” Witte said. “We have two high quality basketball programs and a big game against Northwood. It gives fans another opportunity to come out, support the team, and enjoy good basketball. We’re just trying to have some fun and get people out here to support Grand Valley basketball.”

The men’s game begins at 6 p.m. and the winners of Pizza Wars will be announced during halftime of the women’s game, which is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.
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