Trouble is rising in the world of pepperoni and cheese, as John Schnatter has claimed his business isn’t raking in the dough due to the NFL protests.
Schnatter, founder and CEO of Papa John’s, hasn’t weighed in on the NFL protests, but he did have something to say to the media recently when it comes to his pizza sales.
“The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction,” Schnatter said in a conference call reported by Bloomberg News. “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders. Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership.”
Schnatter is blaming the NFL for low pizza sales because the league hasn’t resolved the situation.
According to a CBS report, Papa John’s reported on Oct. 31 they recorded a lower than 1 percent rise in sales for its North American locations. Sales were up to 5.5 percent at the same time a year ago.
I’m not necessarily agreeing with Schnatter. But I can understand the reasoning why he is blaming the NFL for the low pizza sales. I can also understand that maybe he is blaming the NFL for the wrong reasons.
Maybe the reason why the pizza sales are low is because viewership is down for NFL games. There could be a connection between the league and lower sales numbers because less people are seeing Papa John’s advertisements.
Either way, Schnatter shouldn’t have said that the NFL is an example of poor leadership. Since Papa John’s is the official sponsor of the NFL, this leads to the question of whether the company and the NFL will continue to work with each other. I’m surprised that Roger Goodell hasn’t commented on what Schnatter said, because now there can be an issue with NFL and Papa John’s.
Schnatter does make a point with his comment about the NFL. He says that the NFL hasn’t resolved the current situation of the NFL protests. I agree with half of his statement. The NFL needs to resolve the issue with players, because if less people are watching football, that means less people are seeing advertisements from different companies. This can hurt sales for these companies, which can hurt the NFL in a major way.
Greg Creed, CEO of Yum Brands, parent company of Pizza Hut, has said that they haven’t seen an impact on their sales, and Schnatter’s comment was ridiculous. But Creed has to realize that Pizza Hut isn’t the face of the NFL. Pizza Hut is the official sponsor of the NCAA, while Papa John’s is the official sponsor of the NFL. So, Creed’s comment is irrelevant to the situation.
It doesn’t matter if the NFL is for or against the players standing for the national anthem. The problem is that they need to handle the situation, or companies such as Papa John’s are going to be voicing their opinion and causing more negative attention to the issue. Roger Goodell needs to come up with a compromise soon, or he’s going to be losing a lot more than just viewers.