Papa John's confirmed Friday that it plans to remove founder John Schnatter's likeness from its marketing, an announcement that comes on the heels of his being exposed for using the "n"-word in a conference call, and then resigning as chairman of the board".
Papa John's has a license agreement with Schnatter "related to the use of certain intellectual property related to his name, likeness and image, our business and brand may be harmed if Mr. Schnatter's services were not available to the Company or the reputation of Mr. Schnatter were negatively impacted, including by social media or otherwise", it said in 2017 annual filing.
The university has also made a decision to remove Schnatter's name from the Center for Free Enterprise.
Schnatter submitted his resignation Wednesday as a member of the university's board of trustees after Louisville National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) called for Schnatter to either step down or be removed from the board, according to the Courier-Journal.
Schnatter is Papa John's brand.
The deals last through 2040 and include no "morals" clauses that would allow the university to change the stadium's over Schnatter's objection in light of his comments and negative publicity.
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Bendapudi did not comment on Schnatter's reaction to the stadium being renamed. The person was not aware of any plans to change the pizza chain's name.
Schnatter, who was a longtime visible presence in Papa John's commercial campaigns, admitted to making a racial slur during a company conference call in May.
Papa John's is the world's third-largest pizza chain, with more than 350 outlets in the United Kingdom and 4,900 restaurants worldwide. As of 1:05 p.m. Friday, Papa John's shares are $54.31, up more than 1 percent since the start of the day.
Built in the late 1990s, the football stadium was financed with $20 million in donations from Schnatter and his company - $14 million in personal gifts and $6 million from Papa John's worldwide, according to a pair of naming rights agreements and extensions obtained by WDRB.