If you’re a company whose business is making and selling pizza—really if you’re any kind of company, in any kind of business—it’s not beneficial to be most famous for your infamous erstwhile CEO. If you’re Papa John’s, and that CEO—an egotistical nightmare who just last month staged a coup to try and buy back control of the company from which he had resigned last summer after he said the n-word during a sensitivity training—is also your company’s namesake, this is even less helpful. As such, Papa John’s has spent the past months trying desperately to re-brand itself. The latest phase of this process evidently involves putting a new person forward as the face of the company. On Friday, the company announced that Shaquille O’Neal is their, and our, new pizza papa. Give it up for Papa Shaq.
The press release from Papa John’s said (emphasis mine):
O’Neal will be joining Papa John’s as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors and as an investor in nine Papa John’s restaurants in the Atlanta, Georgia area. In addition, Mr. O’Neal will enter into a marketing agreement to be an ambassador for the Papa John’s brand.
Good for Shaq. Too bad the pizza still tastes like ass.