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How Home Run Inn got a slice of ‘The Way’

Updated: November 11, 2011 4:23PM

Home Run Inn’s marketing partnership with “The Way” marks the first time the iconic Chicago pizza restaurant has supported the premiere of a feature film.

Gina Bolger, the company’s director of marketing, knew Kelly Seehausen of Big Picture Marketing in Chicago.

“They talked about how to use our customer database and any broad-based marketing to cross promote,” Home Run CEO Joe Perrino says, “Kelly had the relationship with Martin Sheen.”

Perrino had never met Sheen or Emilio Estevez. They rubbed shoulders at a restaurant reception. “They were very engaging,” Perrino said. “I asked them a lot of questions about father-and-son business because I worked with my father. They were the biggest celebrities that ever came in our restaurant.”

Home Run Inn pizza originated in Chicago in 1923. Why was the time right for a promotional hookup?

“The movie fit our family base core,” Perrino answered. “We weren’t worried about putting our name behind something like that. If it’s the right niche we would do this again.”

Dave Hoekstra

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