The NFL is costing a lot of people money.
The league’s poor leadership and refusal to punish their spoiled millionaire athletes have caused networks and team owners to suffer financially.
And now Papa John’s pizza is losing some major dough as well—and sent the NFL a stern message because of it.
You probably know Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter from their countless football commercials.
He’s the one who always says the company’s slogan, “Better ingredients. Better pizza. Papa John’s.”
And he’s usually alongside either Peyton Manning or JJ Watt.
Papa John’s highest market is always during the NFL season because it’s when they advertise the most and have their best specials.
But since these anthem protests have fans boycotting the NFL altogether, they aren’t ordering game day pizza anymore either.
In response, Papa John’s announced they are pulling their NFL advertisements, citing the “poor leadership” within the NFL.
Bleacher Report reports:
“Pizza chain Papa John’s announced Wednesday that it is pulling its advertising associated with the NFL, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
Per Jonathan Maze of Nation’s Restaurant News, Papa John’s founder John Schnatter said sales are down due to “negative consumer sentiment” regarding the company’s relationship with the NFL.
Schnatter also called the NFL “an example of poor leadership,” according to Maze.
A constant topic of discussion during the 2017 NFL season has been players’ decision to protest during the national anthem.
While the trend was started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season, it has continued in 2017, especially since critical comments were made by President Donald Trump.
That led to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sending a letter to all 32 NFL teams expressing his preference that players stand for the anthem.
The NFL hasn’t enacted a rule forcing players to stand, but there is a clear schism between players and NFL leadership on the issue.
Per Rovell, Schnatter said the NFL’s issues with its players should have been “nipped in the bud” 18 months ago.
It was announced by Nielsen after Week 6 of the NFL season that NFL ratings are down 7.5 percent in comparison to last season, according to Rovell.
Schnatter chalked up last year’s decline to the presidential election but said this year’s drop is due to the “polarizing” controversy, per Maze.
Maze also reported that Papa John’s’ sales are down six percent.
Papa John’s is deeply rooted in the NFL since it has a deal with the league and 23 of its individual teams, according to Rovell.
Former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is a Papa John’s franchisee who also appears in commercials for the company.
In exchange for pulling current ads, Schnatter said the NFL has given Papa John’s additional future spots moving forward.”
On Wednesday, Papa John’s stock fell by almost 6 points, or 10%, which equates to losing almost $100 million.
But what else are they supposed to do? The NFL has cost them money and they have to protect their bottom line. It’s smart business.