Sport

University of Louisville to rename Papa John's Cardinal Stadium

University of Louisville to rename Papa John's Cardinal Stadium

Louisville president Neeli Bendapudi announced Friday the school will strip the Papa John's name from its football stadium, renaming it Cardinal Stadium.

According to a report published by The Associated Press on Friday, the pizza chain confirmed that it will be pulling Schnatter's face from advertisements as the company moves to publicly distance itself from its founder following reports on Wednesday that he used the N-word during a conference call in May.

Bendapudi also explained she spoke with Schnatter, who supported the decision to remove the name so it won't be a distraction to the program, according to 93.9 The Ville.

The naming rights deal for the football stadium is unique, because the school's deal is with Schnatter, not the Papa John's brand.

Keith Hollingsworth, a professor at Morehouse College's business department, said keeping Schnatter on marketing would be a signal to people that the company does not have a problem with his comments, or that it didn't think they were a big deal. "Regardless of the context, I apologize".




The contract states that there are a few ways for the stadium's name to change, both relying on action from Schnatter.

The Minnesota Twins have "indefinitely suspended" the worldwide pizza chain from their Minneapolis stadium, Twins communications director Dustin Morse says. "This is our best decision".

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.

While Schnatter has since resigned from his role with the pizza chain, the company is still dealing with the fallout of the controversy, and has now lost promotional deals with teams across baseball - the Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, and Baltimore Orioles have all either paused or cancelled relationships they had with the brand.

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 global, according to a pair of naming rights agreements and extensions obtained by WDRB.


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