Six MLB teams have now suspended relationships with Papa John's in the wake of founder John Schnatter's admission of using the N-word during a conference call.
Schnatter, who was already drowning in bad PR for suggesting past year that National Football League anthem protests were hurting pizza sales, arranged last spring's conference call to strategize ways to avoid bad PR.
After Forbes broke the story, Schnatter's name was swiftly removed from Nachand Fieldhouse in Jeffersonville, Ind., and a spokesperson with Papa John's confirmed to Insider Louisville Friday morning that the company is in the process of pulling Schnatter's image from its marketing and advertising.
Papa John's could also take a page from Subway's response after former pitchman Jared Fogle was convicted of various sex-related crimes with minors.
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Schnatter has always been the face of the brand, and Papa John's has acknowledged in regulatory filings that its business could be hurt if his reputation was damaged.
The University of Louisville's football stadium has a new name. The University of Louisville also said Schnatter resigned from its board of trustees, and that the school will evaluate the naming arrangement for Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Schnatter had pledged $800,000 to renovate the building, which also carried his name until earlier this week.
"Mr. Schnatter's comments were offensive and inexcusable", the club said in a statement provided to The Times.
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Papa John's is the world's third-largest pizza chain, with more than 350 outlets in the United Kingdom and 4,900 restaurants worldwide.
Laundry Service cut ties with Papa John's shortly after.
Papa John's stock is up almost 3% Friday on the news. Both companies company tied their brands to a single person - a risky endeavor when those people act counter to the brand's purported values. Since then, the fallout has been swift: Schnatter resigned from the school's board of trustees and as Papa John's chairman. Several people told Friedland how inappropriate and hurtful his use of the word was.
Papa John's International Inc. began operations in 1984 and had more than 5,200 locations globally. The company's shares, which had fallen almost 5 percent Wednesday, rebounded 11 percent Thursday after the company announced Schnatter's resignation as chairman. For the first three months of this year, Papa John's said a key sales figure fell 5.3 percent in North America.
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