Papa John’s CEO Blames The NFL Protests For Hurting His Brand

The chickens have come home to roost at Papa Johns Pizza.  These chickens, according to Papa Johns CEO John Schnatter, were hatched by the NFLs inability to properly deal with activist actions performed by players during the national anthem.

“The NFL has hurt us,” company founder and CEO John Schnatter said during a recent conference call. “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.”

Papa Johns is the official pizza of the National Football League, and theyre keen on saying that too.  In just about every advertisement put out by the company, they crow about it.  Commercials featuring Peyton Manning and Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt were prominently displayed on ads in multiple mediums. 

Chris Otts on Twitter

On 3Q earnings call, @papajohns CEO John Schnatter blames “NFL leadership” for “current debacle” between players and owners. Stock is -5%

Executives have reportedly pulled much of its NFL television ads and have been given additional future spots by the league.

Schnatter also alluded to Roger Goodells failures as having exacerbated the issue to the point where it has now affected his companys bottom line.  

“Leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter said, noting he thought the issue should have been “nipped in the bud” a year and a half ago.

Michele Steele on Twitter

John “Papa John” Schnatter on protests: “This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.” Papa John’s is NFL sponsor.

 Papa John’s president and chief operating officer Steve Ritchie said on the call that the NFL deal was the primary suspect behind the decline and that “we expect it to persist unless a solution is put in place.”

Papa John’s has a deal with not only the NFL, but also with 23 individual teams.

For the overall activist movement, this is an overwhelming success. Protest, by its very design, is meant to be disruptive. The fact that Papa Johns, which is the number one NFL-associated brand two years running, is suffering financially means that the NFLs feet are to the fire.  Money talks.

Michele Steele on Twitter

Counterpoint to Papa John’s – wings impacted by football too. But Buffalo Wild Wings stock way up.

Or perhaps their pizza isn’t very good. It seems that Buffalo Wild Wings has also been impacted by its association with football. But they must be doing something right, because their stock is rising.

Back to top