Papa John’s welcomed guests to a newly remodeled Papa John’s location Monday, one of nine locations that NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has invested in across metro Atlanta.
The remodeled Papa John’s franchise is on Georgia Tech University’s main campus, 990 State St. NW, according to a press release. The restaurant features O’Neal’s influences throughout, including O’Neal’s remarkable size 22 footprints at the entrance and basketball-inspired art. The restaurant even has a special phone number, 444-SHAQ, for ordering.
“I am thrilled to be taking my investment in Papa John’s to the next level,” O’Neal said in a statement. “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.”
The four-time NBA champion has deeper ties to Papa John’s than his nine new franchises. He’s also serving as a member on the board of directors and will soon serve as the company’s brand ambassador. In the past year, the pizza chain suffered a backlash after founder John Schnatter used a racial slur concerning black people at a conference. Schnatter would eventually apologize and resign as the chairman of the company’s board.
O’Neal’s new partnership with Papa John’s, which has more than 5,000 locations across the world, will bring a new face to the company that represents a passion for pizza and expert business acumen, Steve Ritchie, CEO of Papa John’s, said in a statement. The basketball legend and sports analyst has had partnerships with Five Guys and owns an Atlanta-area Krispy Kreme.
“Papa John’s franchisees are entrepreneurs who have a shared passion for pizza and the communities they serve. Shaquille is no exception,” Ritchie said. “Shaquille’s experience in the restaurant industry and his love for our products make him a welcome addition to our team.”
Here are Shaquille O’Neal’s other Georgia Papa John’s locations:
- 990 State St. Northwest, Atlanta
- 561 Forest Pkwy., Forest Park
- 5658 -A Riverdale Road, College Park
- 745 HWY 138 Riverdale
- 2075 Mt Zion Road, Morrow
- 5582 N. Henry Blvd., Stockbridge
- 205 Racetrack Road, McDonough
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