Tags: papa johns | nfl sponsorship | sales | player protests

Papa John's Ends NFL Sponsorship

Image: Papa John's Ends NFL Sponsorship

John Schnatter, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Papa John's International. (Photo by Kathy Kmonicek/Invision for Papa John's/AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 February 2018 07:53 PM

Papa John’s is ending its NFL sponsorship after creating a firestorm last fall by blaming slumping sales on the league’s handling of player protests, CNN Money reported Tuesday.

"While the NFL remains an important channel for us, we have determined that there are better ways to reach and activate this audience," CEO Steve Ritchie said on a conference call to discuss the company's quarterly earnings, CNN Money reported.

The pizza chain — whose spokesmen include such NFL icons as Peyton Manning and J.J. Watt — has been a league sponsor since 2010; it’ll keep its partnerships with 22 of the individual teams.

Former CEO John Schnatter came under fire last fall after he said Papa John's sales were hurt by the NFL's handling of protests by players who knelt during the national anthem.

"This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago," Schnatter told investors at the time. "The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country."

The company later apologized.

Ritchie said the parting was mutual. The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Papa John's reported Tuesday that North American sales were down 3.9 percent from a year ago. The stock has lost a third of its value since June, according to CNN Money.

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Papa John's is ending its NFL sponsorship after creating a firestorm last fall by blaming slumping sales on the league's handling of player protests, CNN Money reported Tuesday.
papa johns, nfl sponsorship, sales, player protests
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2018-53-27
Tuesday, 27 February 2018 07:53 PM
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