The five-year relationship between a former NBA star and a high quick meals pizza chain will quickly come to an finish. In Might, Shaquille O’Neal will end his time period on the board of administrators of Papa Johns, and the athlete turned businessman has no plans to hunt re-election.

Papa Johns’ announcement notes that Shaq is departing the board resulting from his different enterprise commitments. The hall-of-famer has had a seat on the board since 2019, when Papa Johns was struggling by way of some very critical PR points referring to its founder’s racist comments and eventual ousting. Since then, Shaq’s impression on the success and general picture of the model has been pivotal, to say the least.

The primary merchandise launched throughout Shaq’s tenure that additionally carried his title was the Shaq-a-Roni Pizza, basically simply an additional giant pizza with a ridiculous quantity of pepperoni on high. Although seemingly a easy providing, with Shaq’s title connected to it the menu merchandise raised $3 million inside its first two months for The Papa Johns Basis for Constructing Group, with $1 of every buy going on to the group. (The Shaq-a-Roni was a limited-time providing that’s now not on the menu.)

Regardless of being a really busy man, Shaq will nonetheless stay a spokesperson and “model ambassador” for Papa Johns, per the announcement.

“Whereas my different enterprise commitments make it difficult to increase my board service for one more time period, I’m trying ahead to persevering with my partnership with Papa Johns, a model I’ve beloved since my days enjoying basketball at LSU,” stated O’Neal within the assertion. “I’m grateful for the dear expertise I gained on the Papa Johns Board and am proud to have performed a task in making the corporate tradition into what it’s as we speak, together with being acknowledged as a greatest employer for range three years in a row.”

These different enterprise commitments referenced within the press launch seemingly embrace Shaq’s other food venture, Big Chicken. Shaq is definitely a serious investor and spokesperson for the chicken sandwich chain, which has numerous places nationwide. Massive Rooster additionally serves popcorn rooster, rooster tenders, sliders, and salads. Though the model missed what this creator considers a golden alternative to call itself “The Rooster Shaq,” the chain’s social media handles are certainly @bigchickenshaq.

Nation’s Restaurant Information reported final yr that Shaq has performed a serious position in serving to develop out Massive Rooster’s breakfast menu and drive-thru ideas. O’Neal has been a proprietor of the chain since 2018, not lengthy earlier than he took Papa Johns into his enterprise portfolio.

This doesn’t sound like a real breakup between Papa Johns and the NBA star. It’s extra of a “goodbye.”

A version of this article originally appeared on The Takeout.



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