Papa John's Faces Backlash After Blaming Declining Sales on NFL Protests

02 November, 2017, 01:09 | Author: Anita Tucker
  • Papa John's Faces Backlash After Blaming Declining Sales on NFL Protests

Papa John's has been the NFL's official pizza sponsor since 2010 and Schnatter, who founded the company in 1984, donated to Trump's campaign and has railed against government regulations.

During a quarterly call with shareholders Wednesday, Papa John's CEO John Schnatter cited national anthem protests in the NFL as one of the reasons for the company's falling stock price. "Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership", he added.

As NFL players take a knee, Papa John's pizza sales are taking a hit.

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"The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players' and owners' satisfaction", Schnatter, who serves as the pizza chain's chairman and chief executive officer, said on a conference call.

The declining NFL viewership stems not only from some people being upset about the national anthem protests, but also from those concerned about concussions.

Schnattter obviously does not like National Football League players protesting, likely for reasons both personal and financial, and by going public he's attempting to strong-arm National Football League owners into action. "With team parity in the NFL, ratings have fallen and marketing has become less effective for brands associating with the league". Net income totaled $21.8 million for the three-month period ended September 24, compared with $21.5 million in the same stretch a year earlier. "We will continue to drive the long-term growth of the Papa John's brand by investing in our better quality product and technology platforms".

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"The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country", Schnatter said. The company posted disappointing earnings results this week, saying that same store sales grew by just 1 percent, missing analysts' projections.

While Papa John's has apparently started pulling its NFL TV advertising, the league is trying to save the relationship by offering more future spots. "Sponsorship of NFL = No Free Lunch".

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