Papa John's starts pulling founder's image from marketing

Papa John's starts pulling founder's image from marketing

Papa John's starts pulling founder's image from marketing

The University of Louisville announced that it will remove Papa John's from the name of its football stadium after Papa John's founder John Schnatter admitted he used a racial slur during a business meeting.

Participating area Papa John's stores had offered 50 percent off pizza orders the day after a Nats win. Papa John's did not immediately respond to whether the company would keep using it.

Papa John's, which has had founder John Schnatter at the centre of its logo and in TV ads, plans to pull his image from its marketing after reports he used a racial slur. He resigned late Wednesday night.

Papa John's has featured John Schnatter in logos and TV ads. During the call, Schnatter was asked how he would separate himself from racist groups online.

After Forbes broke the story, Schnatter's name was swiftly removed from Nachand Fieldhouse in Jeffersonville, Ind., and a spokesperson with Papa John's confirmed to Insider Louisville Friday morning that the company is in the process of pulling Schnatter's image from its marketing and advertising. While downplaying his anthem statements, Schnatter said "Colonel Sanders called blacks n--s, "Forbes reports".

The No. 4 US pizza chain had already been showing less of Schnatter in its major campaigns. "Regardless of the context, I apologize", the statement says.

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

While Schnatter has since resigned from his role with the pizza chain, the company is still dealing with the fallout of the controversy, and has now lost promotional deals with teams across baseball - the Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, and Baltimore Orioles have all either paused or cancelled relationships they had with the brand.

Schnatter stepped down as CEO previous year after blaming slowing sales growth on the outcry surrounding football players kneeling during the national anthem. He is also the company's biggest shareholder, with 30 percent of the stock.

Schnatter owns almost 30 percent of the company's shares, which fell after the report but rebounded when he said he would depart as chairman.

The company can not afford to alienate customers, with sales already under pressure from rivals such as Domino's.

Papa John's began operations in 1984 and had more than 5,200 locations globally.

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