HE’S TEAMING UP WITH PAPA JOHN’S
Papa John’s is trying to revive its image after people canceled the pizza chain following criticism of the NFL protests and the reported use of a racial slur during a media training session by the company’s founder, John Schnatter, who was asked to step down.
How do they intend to pull this off? By recruiting NBA Hall of Famer, Shaquille Oneal. The company figures not only is the retired NBA star good at business, but that he’ll be good at selling their pizzas as well, according to New York Daily News.
Shaq is reportedly signing on to become part of the company’s board of directors, as well as an investor. The new face of the pizza chain hopes to not only make a good business move, but to fix their image from all the racist controversy.
If you think they’re just pulling Shaq for namesake, think again. Shaq has an established track record as an investor in the food industry. The man owns a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and previously owned 27 Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants.
He’s also the founder and owner of Big Chicken, a fried chicken joint in Las Vegas, and ‘Shaquille’s,’ which is a fine dining restaurant in Los Angeles.
Shaq is personally investing in nine Papa John’s restaurants in the Atlanta area.
“In addition to his business acumen, Shaquille understands how to build lasting connections with consumers and energize employees,” said Papa John’s president and CEO Steve Ritchie. “I look forward to working with him as a board member and brand partner to advance the many initiatives we are pursuing across the organization to create even greater success for Papa John’s and our stakeholders.”
Shaq also has experience as a brand ambassador–I’m sure you’ve seen him in those ‘The General’ auto insurance commercials since 2016–a bag that he’s secured until at least 2021.
“I have truly enjoyed the high-quality Papa John’s product for years and am excited to be able to help Papa John’s raise their game to new heights,” O’Neal said in a press release. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and using my experience in business and community to build on the progress being made at Papa John’s…Papa John’s is building a better culture, and I want to be a part of improving the Company from the inside out.”