Shaq Joins Papa John’s Board of Directors

Papa John’s has found its next spokesman: Shaquille O’Neal. But the company hopes Shaq can help Papa John’s beyond hawking pizza.

O’Neal, the NBA Hall-of-Famer, will join Papa John’s board of directors. O’Neal will also invest in nine Papa John’s stores in Atlanta and become an ambassador for the brand in advertisements. The company will pay O’Neal $8.25 million over three years for the endorsement deal, it said in a regulatory filing.

“Shaquille has an excellent entrepreneurial background, including as a restaurant franchise owner, and is a natural creative marketer,” said Jeff Smith, chairman of Papa John’s board of directors.

O’Neal has experience in the food business. He owns a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts franchise in Atlanta, a Big Chicken fast casual fried chicken joint in Las Vegas, and Shaquille’s restaurant in Los Angeles.

Papa John’s could use O’Neal’s popularity, as well as his business acumen. Papa John’s (PZZA) sales have declined for five straight quarters.

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SOURCE: CNN, Nathaniel Meyersohn