Pizza Hut Parent's CEO: Sales Unaffected by NFL Ratings Despite Papa John's Claims

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2017

This Thursday, July 9, 2015 photo shows a Pizza Hut restaurant in Taunton, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Stephan Savoia/Associated Press

Yum Brands CEO Greg Creed said Thursday that he has seen no negative effects from the company being associated with the NFL or other sports leagues.

According to Kate Taylor of Business Insider, Creed said, "We're not seeing impact on any of that on our business," in specific reference to Pizza Hut, which is among the companies under the Yum Brands umbrella.

Creed's comments came after Papa John's founder John Schnatter said Wednesday that the NFL has hurt his business due to national anthem protests and other issues between the players and league leadership, per ESPN's Darren Rovell.

Creed noted that Pizza Hut's affiliation with the NFL, MLB and NCAA has been beneficial from a sales perspective.

According to Taylor, Papa John's executives noted that they are more closely impacted by the NFL issues than Pizza Hut since Papa John's is the official pizza of the NFL, while Pizza Hut is a lesser sponsor.

Schnatter said Wednesday that the NFL has displayed poor leadership and that social concerns involving the players should have been "nipped in the bud" 18 months ago, per Rovell.

Papa John's President and COO Steve Ritchie said the NFL was chiefly to blame for a drop in sales with stock in the company falling by 8.5 percent on Wednesday.

According to Rovell, Papa John's is attempting to distance itself from the league by removing the NFL shield from its advertisements.

Papa John's has long been synonymous with the NFL due largely to former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning's status as a spokesperson and franchisee for the company.

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