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Project D set to be major 'player' at NFL

AN innovative doughnut company has proved to be a major player on the bakery scene - having bagged a deal to provide sweet treats at a Wembley National Football League (NFL) game.

Derbyshire-based Project D sold 9,000 doughnuts at the Jacksonville Jaguars v Denver Broncos clash last month - which had a sell-out 86,000 crowd.

The firm - fresh from scooping the Online Bakery Business of the Year title at last week’s Baking Industry Awards – first impressed bosses at Delaware North, concessions operators at Wembley, when it sold its wares at the England v USA Women’s football international friendly at the iconic London venue in October.

The team has now embarked on the massive NFL operation - which saw the firm take 18 Project D staff to Wembley and employ a further five agency staff to sell the popular Derbyshire doughnuts across a four-and-a-half hour period.

The event, on October 30, saw seven Project D stands across three floors of the stadium, along with six hawking units.

Project D’s events manager Angela Allen cancelled her annual leave to head up the event.

She said: “It was a massive operation. This was the first time we’ve ever been given an opportunity to trade at Wembley by Delaware.

“The women’s international friendly was a trial run - but it was nothing in comparison to this. It was such a long trade window.”

Angela, who moved to Project D from her previous job with Derby County Football Club, added that this game was “the biggest achievement of my career”.

Project D, which has more than 100 staff members, was set up in 2018 by childhood friends Max Poynton, Matthew Bond and Jacob Watts.

“The vision from the lads was always to move forward with bigger and better events - I don’t think you get much bigger than the national stadium,” said Angela.

“I don’t think it’s hit anyone just how big this was. The women’s football did well, but ultimately this is us putting ourselves on the map.”

Project D designed a new doughnut in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ badge colours, using Project D’s signature doughnut base with turquoise piping, chocolate sprinkles and a caramel glaze.

Around a quarter of the stock taken to Wembley were Jaguars doughnuts, with the rest from the existing Project D range - Bad Boy, Berry Bomb and Bueno Blanco.

Max Poynton, director of operations at Project D, said: “We are hoping to do a few more events at Wembley over the next year.”

The Jags v Broncos fixture was the first of a new three-year contract between the Jags and Wembley Stadium, which will see the NFL outfit play an annual game at the stadium up until 2024. It is the latest deal which could potentially lead to an NFL side finding a permanent home in London.

The Wembley gig comes on the back of a string of recent successes for Project D, including launching a concession unit at Treat Kitchen, in Nottingham, and selling protein doughnuts at the Arnold Sports Festival at Birmingham’s NEC in September.

To find out more, visit www.projectdoughnut.co.uk.