Papa Johns reinvention of itself has hit a new stride with Shaquille O’ Neal. The basketball legend just signed a lucrative $8.25 million dollar contract to be Papa John’s new frontman. In addition, Shaq will also become the first African-American member of Papa John’s board. The deal is tentatively slated to last thee years and will pay out in a combination of cash and stock options.
Shaquille O’ Neal is no stranger to marketing and has been the pitchman for many products and brands. His involvement with Papa Johns stems from a desire to help. In an interview with CNBC Shaq commented on his motivation to join the Papa Johns family. “I want to help bring things back on track,” he stated, “Because the 800 franchisees did not do anything wrong.”
In the wake of Papa John’s recent problems a popular spokesman like O’Neal is a very good development. Despite being basketball royalty Shaq is also a larger than life personality. He has stared in numerous movies, T.V. shows, and commercials. Shaq is also not new to the food service business either.
Steve Richie, the current CEO of Papa Johns, is delighted with O’Neal’s inclusion. He has worked hard over the past year to reinvent the company and create a strong future for the pizza chain. So far the new path has been paved with equality, inclusion, and diversity. It has been a road Richie has been adamant about since coming onboard. So far his tenure has revitalized the chain and redefined its overall culture.
In an interview Richie expressed his thoughts about sighing O’Neal. “It is one thing for me to say how great our company is,” Richie said, “It is quite another for Shaquille O’Neal to say.” Hopefully, Shaq’s inclusion will add even more to Papa John’s new direction.
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