The proof lies in….pizza sales? Recently, Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter blamed declining pizza sales on NFL protests. How? According to Schnatter, since the viewership of NFL games has declined, views of the pizza advertisement also declined. According to Fox Sports, viewership of NFL football games is down by 5 percent from last year.
Papa John’s has been dubbed the official pizza of the NFL. During an earnings call Wednesday, Schnatter responded to sales by saying, “The NFL has hurt us. We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this. Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership.” In addition to the earnings call, after announcing declining sales, the company’s worth fell $70 million in less than 24 hours. This brought the personal net worth of John Schnatter down to $801 million. In response, executives of the company have pulled much of their advertising and will continue to do so with future spots, probably not making them the official pizza of NFL.
In response, Pizza Hut CEO Greg Creed has said the company has seen little to no change in sales due to a single controversy. In fact, Creed notes sales have also been doing well because of college football and baseball. DiGiorno has also spoken in a series of tweets letting consumers know, they also have not taken a hit by the protests.
It’s a pizza competition.