Papa John’s Blames NFL For Declining Sales, Offers No Evidence

Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter blamed the NFL protests for its declining sales.

“The NFL has hurt us,” Schnatter said in a conference call with ESPN. “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.”

“Leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership,” he continued, stating that the controversy should have been “nipped in the bud” a year and a half ago.

COO Steve Ritchie told ESPN that research concludes Papa John’s is the most recognized brand associated with the NFL for the past two years. Executives say they have pulled much of their advertising this season and that the league has promised future spots.

These are pretty bold statements by Papa John’s, especially since they offered no analytics to back their claims. There are many reasons for their declining sales such as a) Ineffective advertising 2) Healthier society 3) Quality of product 4) Shifting way viewers consume the NFL and all of television (RedZine, mobile, etc)

It should be noted that Jerry Jones, the NFL’s most vocal critic of protesting, owns a a dozen Papa John’s franchises and has appeared in multiple spots for the brand.