Louisville / KY. (pj) Papa John’s International Inc. Board of Directors member Shaquille O’Neal has closed on an investment in nine Atlanta-based Papa John’s restaurants. These existing Papa John’s stores include one newly-remodeled location featuring design elements selected by O’Neal himself, including his signature on the front of the building and his legendary size 22 footprints at the front door.
«I am thrilled to be taking my investment in Papa John’s to the next level,» O’Neal said. «My investment shows my commitment to the company and was a natural fit. I’ve been a fan of Papa John’s pizza since my days playing basketball at LSU. I could not be prouder of what we have in store for Atlanta as we strive to deliver the city a great pizza experience.»
The 990 State Street NW store located on Georgia Tech University’s main campus near the TNT Studios where O’Neal films during the NBA season underwent a remodelling effort in celebration of the agreement. Customers can expect to see subtle elements designed by Shaq, such as basketball-inspired pizza art, O’Neal’s signature and footprints, and a custom «444-SHAQ» phone number.
The basketball legend’s investment in nine Atlanta-based Papa John’s franchises further signals O’Neal’s desire to be a «triple threat» for the company as Board of Directors member, soon-to-be brand ambassador, and now, a franchise investor. O’Neal and the brand share an unwavering commitment to enhancing their local communities, while continuing to provide customers with the highest quality ingredients, products and service.
«Papa John’s franchisees are entrepreneurs who have a shared passion for pizza and the communities they serve. Shaquille is no exception,» Steve Ritchie, CEO of Papa John’s, said. «Shaquille’s experience in the restaurant industry and his love for our products make him a welcome addition to our team.»