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Following the decline of sales 5 quarters in a row after their founder and CEO admitted to using the N-word in a conference call, Papa John’s is now hoping that Shaquille O’Neill will help save the company and restore its reputation.
Papa John’s announced on Friday that O’Neal will join the board and invest in nine Papa John’s restaurants in Atlanta. He will also serve as a much-needed brand ambassador.
Since retiring from the NBA, O’Neal has become a fixture on TNT’s Inside the NBA post-game show. He’s also appeared in movies, videogames, and commercials.
This isn’t O’Neal’s first dive in the food industry. He owns a Krispy Kreme franchise in Atlanta and previously owned 27 Five Guys franchises. He also owns a fast casual fried chicken restaurant in Las Vegas and a fine dining restaurant in Los Angeles.
“We are thrilled to partner with Shaquille and welcome him to the Papa John’s board,” the pizza chain recently said in the press release. “Shaquille has an excellent entrepreneurial background, including as a restaurant franchise owner, and is a natural creative marketer.”
Papa John’s stock was up about 4.3% in Friday morning trading, to $48.91 per share, even as the broader S&P 500 index was down about 0.6%.
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