"In addition to his business acumen, Shaquille understands how to build lasting connections with consumers and energize employees", Papa John's CEO Steve Ritchie said in a statement. He becomes the board's first black board member in history, the company said. "Papa John's is no different, and it struck a chord with me that the company is putting in the work to do better within its walls and in the communities it serves across the country". "I look forward to working with him as a board member and brand partner to advance the many initiatives we are pursuing across the organization to create even greater success for Papa John's and our stakeholders".
Papa John's board voted to adopt a "poison pill" aimed at preventing founder John Schnatter from getting a controlling stake in the company.
Shaquille O'Neal will appear in Papa John's commercials as the company attempts to fix its image following the dismissal of founder John Schnatter. The company will pay O'Neal $8.25 million over three years for the endorsement deal, it said in a regulatory filing. I am excited to join the board and to help lead from the top, while also investing in nine stores in my home town of Atlanta and being an ambassador for the brand. The company hopes O'Neal can fix its image and revive its sales after the company's founder and namesake, John Schnatter, made racially insensitive remarks.
It'll be interesting to see if Papa John's sales increase with the move.
Shaq slam dunks a new business deal with Papa John's Pizza
The problems at Papa John's started in 2017 when Schnatter criticized the NFL's leadership and blamed protests by football players for falling pizza sales.
"Shaquille has an excellent entrepreneurial background, including as a restaurant franchise owner, and is a natural creative marketer".
In March, the company said Schnatter was leaving the board as part of a settlement resolving the bitter dispute and would find a mutually acceptable independent director who would not be affiliated with the founder or hedge fund investor Starboard.
"Everyone knows Shaquille O'Neal, they know I'm in the fun business, and we want to get this thing back on track". After retiring from the sport, he continues to appear regularly promoting Gold Bond powder and the Carnival cruise line.