Papa SHAQ: Shaquille O’Neal joins Papa John’s board

By aoligschlaeger on March 23, 2019
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 09: NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal attends the grand opening of Shaquille’s At L.A. Live at LA Live on March 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

Papa John just got a little bit taller.

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal announced Friday that he will be serving as the new face of Papa John’s Pizza. O’Neal is also joining the chain’s Board of Directors, and will be investing directly in nine Atlanta franchises.

The all-star is no newcomer to the food industry: O’Neal owns an upscale L.A. restaurant called Shaquille’s, and he holds stake in an Atlanta Krispy Kreme and a Las Vegas Big Chicken.

“Shortly after I retired [from basketball], I decided to commit the same level of hard work and passion into other things, including business,” O’Neal wrote on the pizza company’s website. “One key component of my success is only investing in companies and products that I believe in – I’m a big fan of Papa John’s.”

The folks at Papa John’s corporate headquarters are excited to have Shaq on board, for his brains as much as his face.

“Shaquille has an excellent entrepreneurial background, including as a restaurant franchise owner, and is a natural creative marketer,” Board of Directors Chairman Jeff Smith told CNN.

O’Neal’s three-year contract with Papa John’s is worth $8.25 million.

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