Papa John’s latest tactic to deal with its ongoing controversy is to add Shaq to the board members. On Friday, the controversial pizza chain mentioned that the basketball player Shaquille O’Neal who is also a popular name in the Hall of Fame will now be its latest pitchman to appear in the TV commercials while promoting the company in various other ways.
The company now hopes that O’Neal will help repair the image of this pizza chain once flaunted while reviving the sales as well. This issue started when the founder & namesake of the company, John Schnatter was in news for making racially insensitive comments. Besides acting as the spokesman for the brand, O’Neal shall also join this company as the Board of Directors. Further, the athlete shall invest in 9 of the Papa John’s restaurant located in the Atlanta Area.
In an interview conducted by The Associated Press, O’Neal mentioned that if one wants to enjoy some great pizza or be loved by people that happen to serve this pizza, you should definitely come home now because the Daddy’ has come back. The issues with Papa John’s began in the year 2017. This was when Schnatter had criticized the NFL’s leadership while blaming the protests by the football players for the fall of sales for Papa John’s. Further, it was also revealed that Schnatter used some racial slurs during a certain media-based training session.
When confronted, Schnatter apologized and said that the same wasn’t meant in any racially demeaning way. However, the company had to scrub off his face from the logo & pizza boxes given the uproars from the customers. Even amid the negative business, Schnatter continues to be the biggest shareholder in the company based in Kentucky and Louisville.
O’Neal mentioned that the comments made by Schnatter weren’t at all acceptable. He also added that the executives of the company need to opt for more diversification in the leadership. O’Neal is the very first individual from African-American ethnicity to join the board of directors for Papa John’s. As stated by him, there needs to be a company culture where everybody is loved, wanted, and accepted for who they are, regardless of ethnicity or skin color.
Papa John’s International Incorporation mentioned that O’Neal shall be paid $8 Million+ in cash along with the company stocks for a term of 3 years in the endorsement deal. Wall Street dubbed this partnership a winning move as the shares for Papa John’s increased on Friday by 6 percent.