Peyton Manning dumped his Papa John’s franchises just two days before NFL cut ties with pizza chain
Retired NFL quarterback Peyton Manning and Papa John’s pitchman sold off his stake in 31 Papa John’s pizza locations he owned in the Denver area just two days before the NFL and the pizza chain ended their partnership in late February.
According to the Denver Post, Manning’s involvement with the company — including appearing in commercials with ousted founder John Schnatter — was part of a six-year joint venture with Papa John’s International which has now ended with the sale of his stores.
The report notes that Manning made his sale at a fortuitous time, coming just two days before the NFL severed ties with Papa John’s as the official pizza of the football league.
Papa John’s had a tumultuous year after founder Schnatter agreed with President Donald Trump and criticized NFL players for kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem to protest racial inequality in the U.S.
In a statement in late February, the NFL and the pizza franchiser said they were mutually dissolving their national sponsorship deal, and that Papa John’s would focus instead on the smaller sponsorships it has with individual teams.