Friday, 20 July, 2018

Major League Baseball suspends Papa John's promotion until after All-Star break, pizza company says

Papa John's founder resigns as chairman after apologizing for racial slur Papa John's founder resigns as chairman after apologizing for racial slur More
Kristopher Love | 13 July, 2018, 21:26

Schnatter, who was a longtime visible presence in Papa John's commercial campaigns, admitted to making a racial slur during a company conference call in May.

Schnatter has always been the face of the brand, and the company has acknowledged in regulatory filings its business could be harmed if Schnatter's reputation was damaged.

While many have put their relationships with the brand on hold, there were a few teams across the league that chose to maintain their deals with Papa John's, disavowing Schnatter's comments and praising the brand for its swift action, while cited long-running partnerships with local store owners and operators who shared their values.

The pizza chain later said it had accepted Mr Schnatter's resignation and that a new chairman would be appointed in the coming weeks.

John Schnatter, the pizza chain founder, admitted earlier this week that he used the N-word during an internal conference call.

Every time the Orioles scored five runs or more in a game this season, customers received a 50 percent discount the following day on regularly-priced Papa John's menu items ordered online by using a promo code. In addition to appearing in TV ads, Schnatter's image is on packaging and at the centre of a logo that is all over the company's website.

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).

Schnatter resigned late Wednesday and apologized for using the slur, the company said. "Regardless of the context, I apologize", the statement says.

The Houston Astros didn't announce any direct plans to continue or suspend its relationship with Papa John's, but gave a similar statement, expressing that the team was "incredibly disappointed with the statements made by Papa John's founder John Schnatter", while also saying that they feel "confident that the local franchisees and their employees share the Astros' commitment to diversity and inclusiveness".

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