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Shaq Gets Hired By Papa John's As A Director And Marketing Figurehead

Papa John's, one of the United States' largest pizza delivery chains, recently brought retired basketball star and current National Basketball Association analyst Shaquille O'Neal on board as its brand ambassador. O'Neal will also serve the company as one of its directorial board's figureheads.


Shaquille O'Neal, better known as Shaq, Big Diesel, or Shaq Diesel, was hired to the pair of positions just yesterday. The company announced via a press release that it had come to terms with Shaq via a contract worth $8.25 million. Shaq's contract isn't finalized yet, though it is slated to last three years. He will be paid via a mixture of stock in the company and cash, though company executives stated that his image isn't likely to be used in advertising or marketing materials until the third or fourth quarter of 2019.

O'Neal is proud to serve Papa John's as the first Black director on its board of directors.

Just short of two years ago, the former chairman of Papa John's errantly claimed that the company's loss of sales revenue was a direct result of the National Football League's management of protests made around the league while the United States national anthem was played before games.

A few months after the then-chairman blamed the company's poor performance on the NFL, he used the N-word while on a conference call with fellow executives at the company.

The company's stock value fell significantly after these gaffes, leaving its team of executives scrambling for answers to stop the bleeding. Although the pizza delivery parlor hasn't succeeded in doing so by any stretch of the imagination, Shaq said on CNBC yesterday that he wants to "get everybody back on track," referring to the 800-odd franchise operators across the nation.

Steve Ritchie, the Chief Executive Officer of the pizza chain, was introduced to the new hire about two months ago in Atlanta during the weekend of the National Football League's Super Bowl.

Ritchie felt good about bringing O'Neal on board the company's team of executives, stating that the general sense of confidence he felt came from Shaq's long-standing entrepreneurial ability. Although the former NBA star never operated any stores as a franchisee, he invested in nine stores throughout the greater Atlanta area, where Shaq currently resides.

Current Papa John CEO Steve Ritchie also felt strongly about bringing diversity to the board of directors of the company after the former chairman of the board of directors let his true colors fly a year or so ago. Unlike hiring just anybody to the position, Mr. Ritchie also felt that hiring Shaq would likely bring a layer of positivity to the company's brand image.

Shaq has been endorsed by countless companies over the years. Take, for example, his appearances in advertisements for Johnson & Johnson's Gold Bond, having played a major role in boosting sales for the international conglomerate's line of Gold Bond products over the years.

Shaquille O'Neal has been involved in the management and directing of restaurants before, a set of experiences that CEO Ritchie felt was necessary for whoever was to fill the gap on the company's board of directors to possess. He founded a chicken-oriented, deep-frying diner in Las Vegas, Nevada, known as Big Chicken. Shaq also founded Los Angeles' very own Shaquille's, a more upscale restaurant. The four-time NBA champion and one-time winner of the organization's Most Valuable Player award is still involved in both of the restaurants' operations.

Jeff Smith was also recently hired to the pizza giant's board of directors, earning the recognition last month after the company sold a stake worth roughly $200 million to an investment firm headed by Mr. Smith.

Shaq Gets Hired By Papa John's As A Director And Marketing Figurehead Reviewed by JaamZIN on 6:26:00 AM Rating: 5
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