"We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this."
Papa John's, the official pizza company of the NFL, is reportedly upset with the league's ongoing player protests during the national anthem, and have decided to pull many of its NFL television advertising.
According to ESPN's Darren Rovell,
"The NFL has hurt us," Papa John's founder and CEO John Schnatter said. "We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this."
Schnatter added, "Leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership," noting he thought the issue had been "nipped in the bud" a year and a half ago.
After pulling most of their the NFL reportedly responded by giving the company additional future spots. In addition to Papa John's deal with the NFL, the company also has deals with 23 individual teams.
According to Bloomberg, "Papa John’s shares fell the most in eight months on Wednesday after third-quarter same-store sales missed analysts’ estimates. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company also trimmed its revenue and profit forecasts for the year."
ESPN's Darren Rovell reports,
"In revising sales estimates for the next quarter, Papa John's president and COO Steve Ritchie said on the call that the NFL deal was the primary suspect behind the decline and that "we expect it to persist unless a solution is put in place.""
Ritchie also said that research has found that Papa John's is the number one most recognized sponsor associated with the NFL for two years running, meaning that the association is good when things are going well, and worse for the company during tough times.
Papa John’s has been the NFL’s official pizza sponsor since 2010 and Schnatter, who founded the company in 1984, donated to Trump’s campaign and has railed against government regulations.