Papa John's to cut founder out from all branding

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"Absolutely", he said during a press availability in Louisville Friday morning.

While Papa John's was once ubiquitous with the sports world, it's partnerships have fallen off over the past few months due to Schnatter's actions.

The fallout from Papa John's founder John Schnatter's controversial comment during a conference call continued Friday as University of Louisville president Neeli Bendapudi announced that the school will change the name of its football stadium to Cardinal Stadium from Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

Now that he's not the chairman of the board of the company he founded, Schnatter's face is disappearing from all of Papa John's marketing materials. Both companies company tied their brands to a single person - a risky endeavor when those people act counter to the brand's purported values.

Other MLB teams that had promotions with Papa John's started to distance themselves from the company Thursday since team campaigns operate independently from the league.

Schnatter is Papa John's brand.

Schnatter is still on the board and is the company's largest shareholder - meaning he remains a key presence.

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Schnatter admitted to using a racial slur during a May conference call following a Forbes report.

Schnatter blamed Papa John's disappointing sales last fall on protests by NFL players during the national anthem, causing a backlash and leading to his resignation as company CEO in January.

In a statement released by Louisville, Kentucky-based Papa John's, Schnatter said Wednesday that the reports attributing use of "inappropriate and hurtful" language to him were true. I have decided, with the support of our Board of Trustees, to rename our football stadium "Cardinal Stadium" and to remove John Schnatter's name from the Center for Free Enterprise at our College of Business effective immediately. Schnatter apologized and said he would resign as chairman.

"The name may be salvageable with some sort of "new generation taking over" messages, but we don't really know", said Cathy Dunkin, a lecturer in management at Washington University in St. Louis' Olin Business School.

As of Thursday afternoon, Schnatter's image remained all over Papa John's website.

Bendapudi did not comment on Schnatter's reaction to the stadium being renamed.

Schnatter had used the slur during a media training exercise in May, Forbes reported this week.

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