Papa John’s Pizza CEO and founder John Schnatter is pretty upset over his lagging pizza sales. This time he has new target in his cross hairs to lay blame: NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell. In a conference call with investors, Schnatter laid the blame squarely at the feet of Goddell, suggesting his “mishandling” of the NFL national anthem is the reson for his financial woes.
Schantter points to Goddell’s “lack of leadership” as the main factor. “Leadership starts at the top,” said Schnatter. Even if the optics are bad, what does that have to do with your product sucking to being with? Once word got out that Papa John’s sales were dropping, he lost another $70 million.
Papa John’s signed a contract with the NFL in 2010. He only started complaining in 2017. And sure, NFL viewership has dropped about 5% since last year. That being said, his pizza stock is still dropping disproportionately. And he has still yet to explain why his pizza sales have dropped 24% while competitor Dominoes is up 12%.
At the end of the day, Schnatter really doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Numbers don’t lie. Schnatter would be better served by taking good, long look in the mirror. If you’re losing money, try making a more appealing product. It’s hard enough for corporations to stay competitive if they’re selling a superior product.
According to Bloomberg news, the National Football League came up about 44 times during the course of the call. Schnatter says his response is to pull some of Papa John’s advertising. Hooray! And if it’s sympathy he’s looking for, he might not want to ready Twitter, because he’s getting blown up.