Basketball Superstar Legend Shaquille O'Neal Loves Papa John's Pizza

Published · Friday, February 14, 2020 09:29 AM

The Story of Shaq & Papa John's

Have you heard? Shaquille O'Neal, basketball star, actor, musician, and all-around "jack-of-all-trades" has added something else to his resume. He recently became the first African-American board member of Papa John's Pizza in March 2019 and is actively working to help the company improve its public image after a considerable drop in sales following controversy in the previous year.

A Triple Threat to the Competition

Papa John's has always been known for its excellent delivery pizza specials and high-quality ingredients, but now it's working to become known as something else: a leader in diversity. Last year, Papa John's started talks with O'Neal in hopes that he would become an ambassador for the brand. O'Neal responded that he'd only be interested if the brand became more diverse, and the chain's CEO agreed. O'Neal joined the team as a triple threat. In addition to becoming a member of the company's board of directors, Shaq is also a brand ambassador for the company and part-owner of nine of the chain's franchise restaurants.

What O'Neal Gets From the Deal

Shaquille O'Neal probably loves great pizza (and you can't deny that Papa John's is pretty delicious), but he is a businessman, too. The chain didn't leave him out in the cold. In exchange for bringing diversity to the company and hopefully bringing back some sales, Papa John's is paying O'Neal a hefty sum of $4.125 million dollars. The payments, which will be done in cash, span three years. That isn't all, though. Shaq also received more than 87,000 shares of the company's stock, currently worth a combined total of about $4.4 million. In total, joining the Papa John's family brought the former basketball star a payment of about $8.5 million, although the exact amount may change depending on whether stocks rise of fall in the next two years. Of course, as part-owner of several franchises, which are valued at about $300,000 each, he will also receive a portion of any profits from the locations.

How Papa John's Benefits From the Collaboration

Shaquille O'Neal is a household name, and that means he's great for business. As part of his collaboration with Papa John's, the company will receive several benefits. First and foremost is the notoriety of being tied to such a famous name, of course. O'Neal offered much more as part of his endorsement deal, though. He plans to spend at least eight service days with the company, which includes four with the chain's creative agency. He'll also appear at some company stores, a community event, and many other public relations appearances. In the digital world, expect to see Shaquille O'Neal talking about Papa John's on social media. He's agreed to promote the brand at least once per month on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Finally, expect a branded product collaboration. Whether O'Neal's pizza uses the company's best gluten free pizza crust remains to be seen, but the pie is sure to be large and in charge no matter what.

Although Shaq has been with the company for several months now, it remains to be seen whether the collaboration will be enough to turn Papa John's brand around in the eyes of consumers. One thing is for sure: true fans of the pizza chain will love it no matter what. Whether you're a long-time fan of Shaq or Papa John's or just want to try out a new pizza joint, why not start by ordering a Valentine's Day pizza this weekend?

Share this article: