Grizz Biz Challenge



Winning Local Business to Receive $100,000 Marketing Partnership with the Memphis Grizzlies


Memphis, Tenn. – The ‘Grizz Biz Challenge,’ a partnership between the Memphis Grizzlies and Pinnacle Financial Partners, is back for its second year and the window to submit applications opens today, March 3, 2021. The Grizz Biz Challenge will give local Memphis businesses that generate between $2MM - $30MM in annual revenue the opportunity to pitch a three-year growth plan to a select panel of judges. The winning business will be awarded a $100,000 marketing partnership with the Memphis Grizzlies, courtesy of Pinnacle Financial Partners.

The Grizzlies and Pinnacle Financial Partners also announced today the inaugural Grizz Biz Challenge winner, the Memphis franchisee of Newk’s Eatery, which won a $100,000 marketing partnership with the Memphis Grizzlies. In honor of the Grizzlies 20th season in Memphis, all Memphis area Newk’s Eatery locations will start its marketing partnership with a $20 meal deal to feed a family of four. The $20 meal deal will be offered to Grizzlies fans during the entire second half of the season. Fans will also be able to tune into Rise and Grind on Grind City Media to see special features on Newk’s as well as new commercial spots. Special Grizzlies Newk’s cups will be available at all Memphis locations.  

“We’re so grateful to the Grizzlies and Pinnacle Financial Partners for this opportunity,” said Stephen Garrett, Newk’s Eatery General Manager. “We hope to establish ourselves as a staple of Memphis as integral and engaged as the Grizzlies. This partnership will provide Newk’s with the help and resources necessary to do just that, so we can serve the Memphis area more widely and better than ever.” 

"Joining the Grizz Biz Challenge for a second year was an easy decision," said Chad Rounder, Pinnacle's area manager for small business banking. "Last year's Challenge was a tough contest between a lot of deserving small businesses, with Newk's coming out on top. Their hard work and great presentations earned them a huge marketing boost during a very tough time for restaurants, just when they needed it most. I can't wait to see how our local entrepreneurs have upped their game this year."

Businesses who apply this year will go through a fun and engaging competition that will feature two rounds of judging. Participants will need to submit an online application by midnight on Wednesday, March 31, to qualify for the first round of the competition. Applications will require businesses to craft a three-year growth plan detailing their mission, vision, community goals and more. A panel comprised of small business professionals, marketing executives, Memphis Grizzlies team personnel and local Memphis community development representatives will review all submissions and select five semifinalists who will have the opportunity to pitch their business plans to the panel in person at FedExForum. 

"Pinnacle and the Grizzlies have such a strong partnership because everyone in their organization has the same heart to serve that we do," said Phillip May, Pinnacle's Memphis president. "With the Grizz Biz Challenge, they're putting their massively successful marketing operation to work for local companies. It's the same kind of commitment to small business that we have, which is why it's a pleasure to be a part of the Challenge again this year."

For more information on the Grizz Biz Challenge, contest guidelines and to submit an entry for your business, visit No mailed entries will be accepted.