NEW YORK — Papa John’s is becoming”Shaq-ified.”
The pizza chain said Friday that basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal is going to function as the brand new pitchman, appearing in TV advertisements and promoting Papa John’s in other ways. The business expects O’Neal will repair its image and revive its own sales after the corporation’s founder and namesake, John Schnatter, made racially insensitive remarks.
You know @SHAQ as being a Hall of Famer, sports commentator and entrepreneur. His business savvy and passion for our pizza make him a wonderful fit.
Besides being a spokesman, O’Neal may also join the provider’s board of supervisors and purchase two of its own restaurants from the Atlanta region.
“If you want to savor great pizza and also feel adored by the folks that function the pizza, then you may return now,” O’Neal said in a meeting with The Associated Press. “The Daddy’ will be here.”
The issues in Papa John’s started in 2017, when Schnatter criticized the NFL’s leadership and blamed protests by football players to get falling pizza sales. Last year it was disclosed that he had a racial slur during a networking training session. Schnatter apologized for the slur and the business scrubbed his face contrary to the corporation’s logo and pizza sticks. He’s still the Louisville, Kentucky-based company’s largest spammers.
O’Neal said Schnatter’s comments were”not okay,” and said he told the company’s executives it had more diversity in its own leadership. He says he is the first African-American to join Papa John’s board.
“we would like to develop a civilization to let everybody understand that they’re loved, wanted and accepted,” O’Neal said.
Papa John’s International Inc. said it will cover O’Neal more than $8 million in cash and company stock for the endorsement bargain.
Wall Street seems to think it is really a winning venture. Shares of Papa John’s soared more than 6 percent Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.