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Patriots' Bruschi to Tout Papa Gino's

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BOSTON Papa Gino's said it has signed New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi to star in the pizzeria chain's latest campaign.

The ads were created by Boston-based independent Gearon Hoffman, and new iterations featuring Bruschi will break next week and run through December. TV, radio and print are all in the mix. The work promotes the chain's "Crowd Pleaser" meal offering.

"Papa Gino's is a quality, family-oriented, caring organization, and I'm proud to represent them," Bruschi said, in a statement. Indeed, the chain bills itself as "The family pizzera since 1961."

Bruschi is a stroke survivor, and Papa Gino's said it has donated $20,000 to Tedy's Team, an organization dedicated to raising funds through donations and athletics sponsorships for the American Stroke Association and Train to End Stroke Foundation.

Papa Gino's has frequently engaged local sports personalities, employing Pats kicker Adam Vinateri and Red Sox slugger David Ortiz in past promotional efforts.

Another Pats star, Richard Seymour, recently signed to appear in commercials for Dunkin' Donuts.

Based in Dedham, Mass., Papa Gino's Holdings owns the Papa Gino's and D'Angelo's dining chains. Overall, there are 375 company-owned and franchised Papa Gino's, D'Angelo's and dual-location eateries, concentrated in New England.

The client spends $2-3 million annually on ads. Gearon has worked on the business for the past two years.