The NFL will be looking for a new official pizza company in 2018. Charles Gasparino of FOX Business Network first reported that a breakup between the NFL and Papa John’s was likely.
The split has now been confirmed.
BREAKING: Papa John's & the NFL have ended their sponsorship deal.
Founder CEO John Schnatter left on Jan. 1 as CEO in part because of his comments that players not standing for Anthem hurt sales.
Papa John's sales were down 3.9% in Oct. thru Dec. compared to year before.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 27, 2018
The comments of former CEO John Schnatter were controversial. Although, whether Schnatter’s comments were unsolicited is a matter of some debate.
“Some NFL owners believe that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who has a stake in more than 100 Papa John’s locations, cajoled Schnatter into making the public attack on the league,” Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noted.
Regardless of the reasons for the comments or the split itself, the title of Official Pizza Company of the NFL is now up for grabs. Expect plenty of companies to try to replace Papa John’s in the coming days, weeks, and months.