Papa John's has a new pitchman: Shaquille O'Neal.
Papa John's first linked up with O'Neal shortly before the Super Bowl in February, when the restaurant chain sponsored an event he hosted in Atlanta, Ritchie said. He becomes the board's first black board member in history, the company said. "Papa John's is building a better culture, and I want to be a part of improving the Company from the inside out".
Papa John's shares rose more than 4 percent in midday trading Friday.
University of Louisville renamed its football stadium, previously named Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, in the wake of the scandal involving Schnatter.
Former NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal is the new face for Papa John's, the pizza chain announced Friday.
The deal lends O'Neal's considerable fame to a company that has struggled with its messaging since the shocking departure of founder John Schnatter, who had been the company's longtime spokesman.
O'Neal isn't new to the food business, he now owns a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts franchise in Atlanta and he's the founder and owner of Big Chicken, a fast casual fried chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Shaquille's, a fine dining restaurant in Los Angeles, California.
"Everyone loves pizza and pizza loves everyone", O'Neal said.
O'Neal owns various restaurants already: a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts franchise in Atlanta, Big Chicken fast casual fried chicken in Las Vegas and Shaquille's restaurant in Los Angeles. Starboard earlier this year unveiled an investment of up to $250 million in Papa John's.
In this instalment of Sidelines, Shaquille O'Neal, NBA Champion, takes a look back at his successful career, his booming business ventures, and why his latest gig has him transforming into DJ Diesel as he plays the hottest clubs in the world - including Toronto's Cabana lounge at Rebel Nightclub.