Whatever the reasons for it, the punishment was swift-Papa John's shares fell 8.5% yesterday (Nov. 1), closing at $62.26.
He cited the wave of protests in 2012 against Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's opposition to same-sex marriage.
He believes his company, an official pizza sponsor of the NFL, has seen a dip in sales and stock prices because of the League's inability to curb ongoing player protests of police violence during the National Anthem.
"This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago". "Sponsorship of NFL = No Free Lunch".More news: Two US Navy SEALs 'investigated over Green Beret strangulation death in Mali'
DiGiorno continued with another Papa John's diss, taking aim at the company's tagline, "Better Ingredients". And so the controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country, and that's the big difference here.
The backlash was swift, with many promising to boycott Papa John's in response to Schnatter's comments. Furthermore, ratings have also been a bit shaky for baseball this year in comparison to last, so football isn't the only sport to take a hit (ergo...it's likely not the peaceful protest of racial inequality that's hurting Papa John's). Yum Brands posted third-quarter earnings and revenue that beat analyst forecasts, due in part to Pizza Hut's improved performance.
"We're not seeing impact on any of that on our business", Greg Creed, CEO of Yum Brands-parent company of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and other chains-said in a call with investors on Thursday.
Pizza Hut said Wednesday that the NFL kneeling protests are not affecting sales, the day after competitor Papa John's claimed that its low sales are a result of declining league viewership.
Papa John's still expects sales to increase by 1.5% in North America this year, but that's down from its previous estimates.