P.J. Fleck Brings His High-Energy Coaching Style to Pizza Ads

Golden Gophers coach goes to work for Red's Savoy

"You've earned that right, to have 'Sota-style pizza delivered right to your door! You are pizza elite!"

University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck displays his motivational style in a pair of silly spots for local pizza chain Red's Savoy.

Big Ten football has been sidelined owing to pandemic concerns, but Fleck dons his headset and delivers the funny for Red's, hyping its commitment to serving pizzas made with "passive-aggressive sauce" and cut into squares. (That's 'Sota style!)

First, he visits a slacker—played by punk kid Alex Frecon—lounging around the house at noon. (Dude's still in his P.J.s, of course!)

Red’s Savoy & P.J. Fleck Pizza Elite | Pajamas

Next, Fleck does laps to get a fallen Red's driver back in the game:

Red’s Savoy & P.J. Fleck Pizza Elite | Wipeout

That guy must've stepped in a gopher hole. Heh.

Owner, a new agency led by former Fallon New York president John King and U.S. Hockey League commissioner Tom Garrity, created the deliciously low-budget campaign, studying videos of Fleck's locker-room talks and press conferences for inspiration.

"We found ourselves laughing wondering what it would be like if Coach Fleck was motivating people to be better at pizza instead of better at football," says Reed Daniels, president of Red's Savoy. "The agency gave us the concept pre-Covid, but we had to adjust for the pandemic. We cut one spot because it had too many people, and we shot at a home and took all necessary safety protocols to protect the crew and Coach Fleck."

King scored long-running viral hits with his "Minnesota State High School All Hockey Hair Team" videos and, more recently, he produced this "Bubble Drip" clip for the NHL.

As for Fleck, a couple of years ago he rated Red's an 8.7 on a scale of 10 in a "One Bite" video pizza review. That's an impressive showing, but now that he's on the team, maybe the coach can inspire them to run up the score.

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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