The NFL just received some very bad news — a massive pizza chain linked to the league is increasingly angry over the NFL anthem protests, and has blamed them for weak sales growth.
Papa John’s, a major advertiser with the league, has lost a lot of dough this week. CEO and founder John Schnatter announced Tuesday that shares are down 11% and guidance on same-store sales has lowered — and they’re pulling a lot of ads from games because of it.
Schnatter did not shy away from blaming the league for his company’s recent decline. He made it known that the outcry surrounding players kneeling during the national anthem has negatively affected the company’s pizza sales.
“The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle,” he said, “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.” Papa John’s is the NFL’s official pizza sponsor, so their unhappiness will be felt throughout the industry.
The company has reported that their customers have a negative view of the NFL and the company’s association with it.
“The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country,” said Schnatter.
Ratings are down for the NFL, but commissioner Roger Goodell still has not declared that players must stand. As a result, the famous pizza franchise will be pulling their advertisements associated with the NFL.
Papa John’s says it has been pulling advertising associated with the NFL. The league, it says, has given some future spots in return.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 1, 2017
Papa John’s hit the nail on the head when they stated “This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago,” and critics could not agree more.
National anthem protests have not only affected the ratings of the NFL, but have also affected the growth of companies supporting the league.
Americans boycotting the league and their sponsors has finally begun to make a statement.
Loss of sponsors means a loss of cash flow for the league — and as more Americans voice their opinions, it will leave the NFL no choice but to cave.
— The Horn editorial team