Papa John Executives ‘Disappointed’ In The NFL’s Response With Protests Because of Decline in Sales

What’s more important, fresh toppings, or racial equality?

Well, the popular pizza franchise Papa John’s thinks the selling of their toppings and pizzas are of a more important matter than players first amendment rights. During a recent conference all Wednesday morning, NFL league and Papa John’s executives weighed in on the NFL’s handling of players expressing their rights.

According to ESPN,

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

Executives said the company has pulled much of its NFL television advertising and that the NFL has responded by giving the company additional future spots.

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

In revising sales estimates for the next quarter, 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.”

So let’s answer this question again, what is more important, pizza that will do nothing but make us all fat and lazy, or bringing attention to racial discrimination that is terrorizing our nation? Basically, Papa John’s is upset over losing a few dollars because we as consumers are not spending our money to purchase their pizzas during football games. The franchise advertises during games but there are a decrease in the ratings for game this season because of the player protest. The pizza franchise has been one of the most popular sponsors for the NFL for the last few seasons, especially during the Peyton Manning era in Denver. Now, they have made it known to the NFL to make a move or they will put the plug basically on their sponsorship money. Although, the NFL is sponsored by several different companies besides Papa John’s, as a  PepsiCo, Mars, Visa, Campbell’s Soup, Procter & Gamble, Castrol, Bose, McDonald’s, and Verizon, who also spoke to ESPN.

Verizon spokesperson Jim Gerace says,

“our discussions with any partner are between us and while we haven’t done anything different, we don’t discuss future plans. “We are not going to critique their performance in public just as I wouldn’t expect them to critique ours,” Gerace added.

Dannon, who has the Oikos brand that sponsors the NFL took a different approach in their statement saying, “We continue to monitor the situation carefully and have not made changes to our advertising or related plans.”

All in all, we all understand to have a successful business, you must one get the consumers attention and have a product to bring in sales. Although, ignoring that we have rights as citizens isn’t the best approach just because your company may not have an increase in dollars. That is the company’s issues to resolve, not the NFL. Reach out to your consumers and find out ways you can relate to bring them back in. Also, Papa John’s, you’re not hurting at all, the families of unarmed black men and women who have been killed, those are the real people who are hurting.

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