Monday, 19 November, 2018

Papa John's to remove John Schnatter from marketing materials

“Regardless of the context I apologize,” Papa John’s founder John Schnatter said Wednesday “Regardless of the context I apologize,” Papa John’s founder John Schnatter said Wednesday
Frederick Owens | 13 July, 2018, 22:25

At the time, Papa John's was the official pizza sponsor of the NFL. The conference call with the marketing company was meant to help him return to the public eye.

Mr Schnatter quit as chief executive previous year after criticising the NFL over players' national anthem protests.

U of L President Neeli Bendapudi said she made a decision to rename the stadium and also to remove Schnatter's name from the Center for Free Enterprise that Schnatter helped establish at U of L's College of Business in 2015 with a $4.6 million donation. Papa John's could win back customers with a marketing campaign like Wells Fargo, Uber or Facebook's.

UofL's Pan-African Studies Chair Ricky Jones tweeted Wednesday: "In a couple of months, black students from the #UniversityOfLouisville and other schools will be expected to suit up and play football in 'Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, ' Anybody with a moral compass would see how that's a little. shall we say. problematic".

The school has a deal that runs through 2040 with Schnatter himself and not the Papa John's brand, but if Schnatter leaves the company he can rename the building, according to ESPN.

Schnatter subsequently issued a statement acknowledging the use of "inappropriate and hurtful" language.

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Major League Baseball had also said it was indefinitely suspending a promotion with Papa John's that offered people discounts at the pizza chain after a player hit a grand slam. "Regardless of the context, I apologize".

On Wednesday, the pizza chain accepted the founder's resignation as chairman of the board after he admitted to using the n-word on a conference call.

Bendapudi said Schnatter was apologetic in a conversation they had recently and that he was "very supportive" of taking his name off the Center for Free Enterprise. Forbes reported that Schnatter used the N-word during a media training exercise.

Schnatter's face has been central to the Papa John's brand since its inception.

The University of Louisville is removing the Papa John's name from its football stadium. His image and voiceover do appear at the end of two of the top five TV commercials that have aired nationally so far this year according to iSpot. He is also the company's biggest shareholder, with 30 percent of the stock.

Papa John's, based in Louisville, Kentucky, began operations in 1984 and had more than 5,200 locations globally.

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