Shaquille O’Neal has essentially taken a page from the Magic Johnson post-NBA career handbook with his investments in business and ownership of restaurants and franchises.
O’Neal—former NBA center and current co-host on TNT’s Inside the NBA—has several streams of income from his investments and endorsement deals, and he just added another one via Papa John’s. The pizza chain is in the midst of a rebrand following the scandal in which the company’s ex-CEO, John Schnatter, admitted to using the n-word during a conference call.
The scandal led to boycotts and sales declines in five consecutive quarters. O’Neal hopes to be a huge part in turning Papa John’s around, according to a press release from the company.
“I have truly enjoyed the high-quality Papa John’s product for years and am excited to be able to help Papa John’s raise their game to new heights,” said O’Neal. “This is a triple threat opportunity for me. I am excited to join the Board and to help lead from the top, while also investing in nine stores in my home town of Atlanta and being an ambassador for the brand. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and using my experience in business and community to build on the progress being made at Papa John’s. Papa John’s is building a better culture, and I want to be a part of improving the Company from the inside out.”
O’Neal’s involvement with the company is two-fold: he’ll sit on the board of directors as an investor into nine different locations in Atlanta and “will enter into a marketing agreement to be an ambassador for the Papa John’s brand.”
O’Neal’s other marketing endorsements include Carnival Cruises, Gold Bond, and The General.