Papa John's pulls TV ads, 'NFL leadership has hurt us'

Papa John's pulls TV ads, 'NFL leadership has hurt us'

Papa John's is an NFL sponsor, and has often been recognized in tandem with the league.

Papa John's International Inc. founder John Schnatter is going after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, saying weak handling of the league's national-anthem controversy has hammered sales of his pizza. A number of players followed Kaepernick's lead by taking a knee during the anthem past year and this season.

The CEO, who famously stars in the company's commercials alongside NFL legends like Peyton Manning, also said he thought the national anthem issues had been "nipped in the bud" last season. According to Papa John's leadership, that association has only hurt the pizza-maker's brand in the past few months.

"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.

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Peep the obligatory slander being hurled via Twitter at Papa John's for its stupidity.

A 2017 North America comp sales outlook of positive to 1.5 percent, revised from the prior range of 2-4 percent. 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.

Just when it feels like we've heard from every possible side on the controversy of NFL players peacefully protesting by taking a knee during the national anthem, we apparently had yet to hear from the fast food pizza chain restaurant faction. "Further, Lockhart said that other top sponsors have expressed similar concerns as the NFL's TV ratings slump and political battles play out in the league".

"Like Subway in recent years, Papa John's has invested in athletes to market their products", Darren Tristano, a foodservice trend expert, told CNBC via email. The news sent Papa John's stock into a tumble, closing Wednesday at 62.26, down almost 9 percent from a week ago.

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