Papa John’s Is The Only Pizza Brand Feeling The Heat For Anthem Protests

(Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Pizza Hut)

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Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter
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While the Papa John’s pizza brand has gone out of its way to condemn the NFL’s ongoing national anthem protests, its competitor Pizza Hut is taking no such stand.

While both brands advertise with the league, Papa John’s is an official NFL sponsor and many angry fans began to avoid the brand as anthem protests escalated. Greg Creed, CEO of Pizza Hut owner Yum Brands Inc., claims his company hasn’t seen the same slump in sales and stock price that Papa John’s has suffered, FOX 59 reported Sunday.

“We’re not seeing any impact from any of that on our business,” Creed told reporters Sunday.

Papa John’s slammed the league last week for not forcibly bringing the protests to and end.

“The NFL has hurt us. We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this,” CEO John Schnatter stated. “This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.”

At the NFL’s fall meeting last month, Commissioner Roger Goodell and and several other owners decided not to require players to stand for the national anthem by changing policy language from “should stand” to “must stand.”

Beyond criticizing the NFL, Papa John’s has responded to its low growth by hiring a new creative agency to focus more on digital advertising rather than traditional television ads.

“We’re an e-commerce brand — it’s time we stop thinking in TV scripts,” Papa John’s Chief Marketing Officer Brandon Rhoten said in a statement.

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