Has anybody had a worse year so far than Papa John’s? It started when the pizza company’s former CEO John Schnatter blamed NFL protest for the company’s weak third quarter sales on the NFL players’ protest over police brutality, and now it ends like this. Forbes Magazine (@Forbes) reports, less than 24 hours after Papa John’s benched itself as the NFL’s official pizza sponsor, the NFL cut a deal with Pizza Hut to become the league’s new pizza sponsor.
The NFl and Yumi Brands subsidiary made the announcement this morning. The deal with Pizza Hut will officially begin during this year’s 2018 NFL draft in April. The deal gives Pizza Hut exclusive marketing rights, use of the league’s 32 team logos and any other designation that will connect Pizza Hut with the NFL’s players, events and properties. The deal is big. That means we will no longer be seeing a barrage of corny Papa John’s commercials starring Peyton Manning during this upcoming NFL season. Those will now be replaced by Pizza Hut commercials. Many people on social media have complained that Papa John’s pizza is trash. I’ve never tasted Papa John’s pizza before, but if it’s true that the pizza is trash, and you combine that with a lack of advertisement, my guess is that it won’t be long until Papa John’s goes completely under…unless their pizza stops being called trash and they grab another huge sponsorship with another sports league. It will be hard work to find an audience bigger than the NFL’s though.