Papa John’s has been a sponsor of the NFL for a few years. Papa John’s executives are now asking the NFL to look into and increase their viewership after it took a slight decline due to what they say are “the anthem protests.” No one has been able to confirm, nor deny if the protests have a relation to their sales, but Papa John’s insists that it does.
Papa John’s has a right to be upset, as NFL ratings are down over 5% this season. As for the Papa John’s stock, it is down over 15% since the start of the NFL season. Papa John’s made a heavy investment in marketing for gaining business on the weekends during football season, saying that the majority of their fall and winter spending goes toward marketing in the NFL. It is however, interesting how no other major pizza-related companies such as Pizza Hut have expressed any decline in business.
Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys’ owner, has investments in over 100 Papa John’s locations and is strict on telling all his players to stand during the anthem. Whether he’s protecting the Cowboys’ image or his investments’ image, Jones may think protesting the anthem has something to do with sales. Again, throughout the ongoing debate, there has been no concrete correlation to NFL protests and Papa John’s sales. Papa John’s has said that they will evaluate their relationship with the NFL as the season continues and try to find out why sales are down.