By Jamie Barrie P apa John’s new CEO Steve Ritchie recently told investors that Papa John’s would be shifting its marketing from the National Football League as a whole to focus on specific teams and players. “While the NFL remains an important channel for us we have determined that there are better ways to reach and activate this audience,”; Ritchie told investors. “Thus, we will shift our marketing for the broader NFL sponsorship to focus on our partnership with 22 specific NFL teams, a signif- icant presence on league broadcast and digital platforms and on our relationships with many of the league’s most popular players and person- alities.” Papa John’s and the NFL mutually agreed to ter- minate the partnership, ending the pizza chain reign as the official pizza of the NFL since 2010. This should be of no surprise as Papa John’s previous CEO and founder John Schnatter has been very critical of the NFL blaming its lack of leadership on issues on and off the field and declining NFL viewership for slumping sales of its pizza. Don’t worry football fans, pizza and football will still go together as Pizza Hut was quick to grab a slice of the NFL action as it announced the company would be the new official pizza chain of the NFL. Time will tell which marketing focus cooks up more pizza sales.field and declining NFL viewer- ship for slumping sales of its pizza.



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