It has begun, the protests are hitting the NFL where it hurts even more aside from ratings, advertising.
Papa John’s announced Wednesday that it is pulling their advertising associated with the NFL. This according to Darren Rovell
Papa John’s says it has been pulling advertising associated with the NFL. The league, it says, has given some future spots in return.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 1, 2017
BR- Per Jonathan Maze of Nation’s Restaurant News, Papa John’s founder John Schnatter said sales are down due to “negative consumer sentiment” regarding the company’s relationship with the NFL.
Schnatter also called the NFL “an example of poor leadership,” according to Maze. Poor leadership is a direct shot at the league commissioner.
A constant topic of discussion during the 2017 NFL season has been players’ decision to protest during the national anthem.
While the trend was started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season, it has continued in 2017, especially since critical comments were made by President Donald Trump.
That led to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sending a letter to all 32 NFL teams expressing his preference that players stand for the anthem.
The NFL hasn’t enacted a rule forcing players to stand, but there is a clear schism between players and NFL leadership on the issue.
Per Rovell, Schnatter said the NFL’s issues with its players should have been “nipped in the bud” 18 months ago.
It was announced by Nielsen after Week 6 of the NFL season that NFL ratings are down 7.5 percent in comparison to last season, according to Rovell.
Schnatter chalked up last year’s decline to the presidential election but said this year’s drop is due to the “polarizing” controversy, per Maze.
Papa John’s is deeply rooted in the NFL since it has a deal with the league and 23 of its individual teams.
It’s only a matter of time before more advertisers pull out. Papa Johns is a huge advertiser in the NFL, losing them could start a domino effect. This isn’t good news for Roger Goodell, who’s new contract is already in question by the owners, now, it’s effecting their pockets.