Papa John’s Became The Official Pizza Sponsor Of The NFL — Then CEO Wakes Up To A $70 Million Dollar Mistake

It’s been said for more than a year now that the Colin Kaepernick-inspired anti-cop, anti-American rant of taking the knee during the National Anthem was the beginning of the death knell for the National Football League, and it appears that this prediction was correct. Both owners and the league itself have seen falling revenue and profits drying up like old beer on a bleacher seat.

The warning shots were fired years ago by the Left when they began targeting the NFL in an attempt to put them out of business by focusing on a concussion scandal that took on a life of its own when older players were persuaded by activists to come out of the woodwork to sue the league with claims of not having known that the sport was dangerous and may result in concussive injuries.

What the Left had attempted to do through this endeavor really fell short of its goal. There was also the brief stint of trying to shame the Redskins into changing its name. When that failed, they saw this taking the knee protest as their ticket to success and latched on to the operation.

Now, Papa Johns Pizza, as well as other sponsors, have seen an equally disturbing trend in their own businesses of falling revenue and they are now beginning to blame NFL mismanagement! With their connection as the “Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL,” they have found themselves in quite a financial strain – $70 MILLION to be exact!

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The Daily Wire:

As the National Football League persists in politicizing one of America’s former favorite pastimes and Colin Kaepernick’s “take a knee” protest against the American flag has festered and spread throughout the league, it seems no industry associated with professional football is safe from the fallout. Game day ratings have tumbled nearly 9% this season, down almost 19% from 2015. ESPN may be forced to cancel Monday Night Football as advertising revenues collapse. Beyond individual broadcasts, an estimated one million cable and satellite TV viewers cut the cord this month alone, adding to a total 22.2 million cord-cutters predicted by the end of the year, up 33.2% from last year. Now even a chain pizza is feeling the heat.

Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter suffered a $70 million loss to his net worth in less than 24 hours after the company released its third-quarter financial report on Tuesday. Investors responded swiftly, sending shares tumbling 11% before lunchtime and stabilizing around 9% by the end of the day. Management took no time in identifying cause of the sudden collapse.

During a conference call with investors on Wednesday, Schnatter placed blame squarely on the NFL. “The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle,” he fumed. “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.” League commissioner Roger Goodell did not escape Schnatter’s ire. “Leadership starts at the top,” explained the CEO. “And this is an example of poor leadership. This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.”

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Papa John’s has the misfortune of being exposed to the NFL’s incompetence on two fronts. The pizza chain thrives when football fans order pizza on gamedays, but perhaps more importantly, Papa John’s has been the NFL’s official pizza sponsor since 2010. All that may change, however, as the league’s toxicity among former fans poisons more brands associated with it. Chief marketing officer Brandon Rhoten observed, “The NFL was eighth of the top 10 prime time shows. So it’s experiencing a significant decline, which is leading us to have to look at other investment to create that consumer preference of our brand.”

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If league leadership insists on continuing to stoke on-field protests against The Star-Spangled Banner, one wonders how long other NFL advertisers like Buffalo Wild Wings and Kohl’s will be able to maintain their affiliation with professional football before the silent majority of Americans brings the heat to bear on them too.

The time has finally come when these protests will do more to harm the sport of football than all the combined efforts of the Left to destroy the sport. That, in and of itself, is a reason to be sad to see yet another American tradition fall away due to an oversensitive, emasculated Democrat Party that sees anything remotely linked to men and competition as inherently evil.

The sport will continue its decline and prove one important lesson: that the Left doesn’t actually care about the issues of the players and their concerns, but about the destruction of yet another fully American endeavor. Anything that comes out of this country is to be destroyed and no amount of placating or kowtowing will ever sate their thirst for obedience to their ideology.

Source: The Daily Wire

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