Pizza Hut to replace Papa John’s as NFL sponsor

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Well, that didn’t take long.

Just one day after Papa John’s said it was ending its sponsorship with the NFL, Pizza Hut has announced a league partnership of its own.

According to Sports Business Daily, the four-year deal will be more money than what Papa John’s was paying and “gives the NFL a sponsor with a far bigger marketing footprint” with more than twice the amount of locations as Papa John’s.

Papa John’s had been a league sponsor since 2010. It will keep its partnerships with 22 of the individual teams.

Last fall, then-CEO John Schnatter received heavy criticism after he said Papa John’s sales were hurt by the NFL’s handling of protests by players who knelt during the national anthem.

Papa John’s reported Tuesday that North American sales were down 3.9% from a year ago. The stock has lost a third of its value since June.

“We have really got a lot of key learnings on how we can invest our dollars more appropriately,” said Papa John’s CEO Steven Ritchie. “So we thank the NFL for all the efforts and the partnership that we’ve had over the last seven years, and we’ll continue to be very prominent on NFL game days as we move forward” in a different way.”

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