NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has signed on to become Papa John’s newest spokesman. O’Neal is joining the pizza chain’s board of directors and inked a deal to become a brand ambassador for the company. He will also reportedly be investing in nine of the chain’s stores in Atlanta. The company said in a regulatory filing that it will be paying the hall-of-famer $8.25 million over three years as part of the deal.
According to CNBC, O’Neal will be the company board’s first African American director. “Shaquille has an excellent entrepreneurial background, including as a restaurant franchise owner, and is a natural creative marketer,” said Jeff Smith, the chairman of Papa John’s board of directors, according to the news agency.
The report comes as the company is suffering a decline in sales following controversies involving its founder and former CEO John Schnatter.
The pizza chain began to see a slowdown in sales in October 2017, which Schnatter later caught heat for blaming on the NFL’s handling of athletes who knelt in pr-otest during the national anthem. He stepped down from his post as CEO two months after the controversial remarks.
It was also revealed last summer that Schnatter used a ra-cial s-lur during a conference call.
Source: This Article Was First Published On “Thehill.com”