Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Papa John's to pull founder from marketing

PZZA data by YCharts PZZA data by YCharts
Shannon Reynolds | 13 July, 2018, 21:24

Louisville president Neeli Bendapudi announced Friday the school will strip the Papa John's name from its football stadium, renaming it Cardinal Stadium.

"Our community has been fractured by the comments made by former UofL trustee John Schnatter", Bendapudi said in a statement she read to reporters, adding that the comments were "hurtful and unacceptable".

Six MLB teams have suspended relationships with Papa John's since the admission of founder John Schnatter's use of the N-word on a conference call.

U of L President Neeli Bendapudi said she chose to rename the stadium and also to remove Schnatter's name from the Center for Free Enterprise that Schnatter helped establish at U of L's College of Business in 2015 with a $4.6 million donation.

Papa John's Cardinal Stadium will now be called simply Cardinal Stadium in the wake of a scandal involving the founder of the pizza chain whose company name has been attached to the stadium for years.

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Keith Hollingsworth, a professor at Morehouse College's business department, said keeping Schnatter on marketing would be a signal to people that the company does not have a problem with his comments, or that it didn't think they were a big deal. "Regardless of the context, I apologize", the statement says. The person was not aware of any plans to change the pizza chain's name.

Bendapudi did not comment on Schnatter's reaction to the stadium being renamed. As of 1:05 p.m. Friday, Papa John's shares are $54.31, up more than 1 percent since the start of the day. He also spoke about his childhood in IN and said, there, people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died.

Pizza-craving baseball fans have other - and, frankly, better - options at Target Field, including Pizza Lucé (Section 234), by-the-slice Freschetta (Sections 122 and 318), and stone-oven personals (Carew Atrium).

In a press release late Wednesday night, Papa John's announced John's resignation, and said a new Chairman of the Board will be appointed in the coming weeks. While the decision to rename the stadium was effective immediately, Bendapudi was not sure when signage will be removed from the stadium.

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