Papa John’s Hopes High-Profile Pitchman Can Rehabilitate Its Image

Mar 22, 2019  •  Post A Comment

The Papa John’s pizza chain, which suffered a serious PR setback when it came out that company founder John Schnatter had reportedly used a racial slur during a media training session, has a new pitchman that the company hopes can help rehabilitate its image.

The AP reports that basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal will be appearing in Papa John’s commercials and will be involved in the company as a member of its board of directors and an investor in nine of its Atlanta-area restaurants.

“Papa John’s International Inc. says it will pay O’Neal more than $8 million in cash and company stock for a three-year endorsement deal,” the AP reports, noting that shares in the company surged more than 4% today after the news came out.

“Schnatter, who was the face of the company, has apologized for the slur and the company scrubbed his face from the company’s logo and advertisements last year,” the AP notes, adding: “Schnatter is still the Louisville, Kentucky-based company’s biggest shareholder.”


  1. It certainly couldn’t hurt. John Schnatter isn’t any friend of the majority of the population, nor did he have any interest in helping his workers make a decent living. However, his attitude is not uncommon within corporate structures, and he became the poster child of an underlying problem of rampant racism, misogyny, and greed that permeates many large businesses.

  2. We used to order from Pap Johns because they were the closest to our house. They dropped us from their delivery area, which is weird because I see them driving by our neighborhood all the time. That’s OK. Dominos has opened nearby and they have a wider menu.

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