Shaq invests in newly remodeled Papa John’s location on Georgia Tech’s campus

O’Neal has invested in existing Papa John’s locations across metro Atlanta.

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.

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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.”

Credit: Papa John's

Credit: Papa John's

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.

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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