Woo Pizza Sooie - The story behind Fayetteville pizzeria promotion
The idea came to Eureka Pizza owner Rolf Wilkin when he was riding his bicycle over the weekend.
“I haven’t been so stoked for Razorback football in like 20 years,” Wilkin said in a phone interview with Saturday Down South Monday evening. “I’m just so excited about our team this year. I think that this is going to be our year to break through.”
Wilkin, who attended grad school at the Arkansas in the early 1990s, wanted to do to something to inspire the fan base and make it fun. The enthusiastic owner decided to put to his money where his mouth is. The store released an informal press release stating that “when Arkansas beats No.6 Auburn, the chain will sell large pizzas at 1 penny per point” the Razorbacks score at their Fayetteville campus location on Monday.
“My wife and the crew think I’m crazy but we have everybody on notice,” said Wilkin. “I really feel like (the football) team is on the cusp of something big and we want to be apart of it.”
The story spread like wildfire on the internet Monday, getting many retweets on twitter.
Fayetteville pizza joint offers up 1 cent pizzas “when Arkansas beats Auburn” this Saturday. pic.twitter.com/JxmKM1VjOP
— Todd.ABC33/40 (@ToddABC3340) August 26, 2014
The Leverett Ave. store has been operating for 22 years and is one of Eureka’s higher volume stores since it stays open until 3 a.m. feeding hungry college students.
“Come 8 o’clock Saturday night we are going to have to get our butts in gear to get a 1,000 pizzas ready to go Monday morning,” said Wilkin.
Coincidently, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn knows Eureka Pizza quite well. As head coach at Shiloh Christian High School in nearby Springdale, Arkansas, Malzahn use to bring the entire team to the Eureka Springdale location frequently.
“His glory year in high school, we were the local pizza place right down the street from his school,” said Wilkin.”We would feed the team and other times he would come in just with the family,” said Wilkin.
“He was the nicest man you could imagine. He is so first class. He is a student of football. He was a pioneer, a jet setter with the hurry up offense. Our local teams are still (running) his offense. He inspired a whole generation of coaches in Arkansas.”
With Arkansas being a 22-point underdog to Auburn. Wilkin might not be going out on a limb. Anything can happen though.
“Auburn wasn’t in the conversation last year,” said Wilkin. “I think we are in the same situation. Nobody takes stock in preseason rankings, do they?”