For some time, it looked like the NFL’s sponsors were not going to take any real action despite concerns that the anti-US protests by the players might hurt their business.
Now, Papa John’s pizza delivery chain has come forward to state the obvious: The NFL has become toxic and is indeed hurting its sponsors.
Papa John’s, long connected to the league through its sponsorship since 2010 and an endorsement deal with Peyton Manning, told the league that in-game pizza sales had fallen since President Donald Trump criticized protesting players Sept. 22, leading into the season’s third weekend, sources said.
NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart confirmed that the pizza brand had made such concerns known, and said it was not alone among top sponsors in talking to the league about such worries. Papa John’s head of partnerships, Linda Nuss, directed questions to a spokesperson, who did not reply for comment.
Questioned whether owners at their fall meeting last week had raised the issue of hits on club business, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank replied, “Certainly, feelings have been expressed and felt.”
The quoted article above is from October 24. This happened yesterday:
Papa John’s says it has been pulling advertising associated with the NFL. The league, it says, has given some future spots in return.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 1, 2017
Liberals are trying very hard to pretend that everything is normal with the NFL, falsely claiming the protests are “over” and that everyone can go back and watch football now. It’s become clear from the hit that Papa John’s is taking that this is not the case at all.
Don’t let the media deceive you.
Zero Hedge also offered this opinion:
Meanwhile, Papa John’s tumbled the most in eight months on Wednesday after Q3 sales missed analysts’ estimates. The company also trimmed its revenue and profit forecasts for the year. Ratings for the NFL are down this year, which also affects how often fans order pizza.
While this could be a plain old case of redirection and scapegoating by a company that had to “explain” away its terrible earnings, now that the seal has been broken and companies are officially involved in the fray – and not on the side of the NFL – it is only a matter of time before more loud voices emerge, demanding that the NFL put the feud to rest, although it is very much unclear how this can be resolved in a manner that is satisfactory to all participants.