Peyton Manning Sold Stake In 31 Denver Papa John's Two Days Before NFL And Pizza Chain Ended Sponsorship Deal - uSports.org
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LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 12: Host Peyton Manning speaks onstage at The 2017 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Peyton Manning Sold Stake In 31 Denver Papa John’s Two Days Before NFL And Pizza Chain Ended Sponsorship Deal

Peyton Manning held a large stake in Papa John’s Pizza up until recently, but now he has done away with it.

Peyton Manning Papa John’s locations sales news

The former quarterback sold his stake in 31 Denver-area Papa John’s locations two days before the NFL and the pizza chain ended their sponsorship agreement late last month.

Manning — who will be 42 later this month — played for the Broncos for four years before winning the Super Bowl after the 2015 season and then retiring. The five-time NFL MVP bough the Papa John’s stores in 2012 as part of a six-year joint venture with Papa John’s International, company spokesman Peter Collins stated. Manning appeared in several of the chain’s commercials during football games.

Papa John’s and the NFL described the decision to end their sponsorship deal — which began in 2010 — as “mutual,” although many are skeptical of this. The relationship between the two suffered after company founder John Schnatter blamed national anthem protests by some NFL players for the decline of his firm’s pizza sales. Schnatter said the league had “poor leadership” and that the issue of anthem demonstrations should have been dealt with shortly after Colin Kaepernick began the action in August 2016.

The company’s stock plummeted and Schnatter apologized less than two weeks after that. Papa John’s released a statement saying, while it believes Americans “should honor the anthem,” it supports “the players’ movement to create a new platform for change.” By December, Schnatter had stepped down as head of the company. Pizza Hut is now the NFL’s official pizza.

Despite all this, Manning will reportedly still serve as a pitchman and brand ambassador for Papa John’s.

Manning has also been rumored to become a football analyst for a major network, and several reports from this week have been suggesting he could land major deals with a network. Fox Sports and ESPN are reportedly so keen on getting the former QB to call their respective “Thursday Night Football” and “Monday Night Football” games that they’re prepared to pay him up to $10 million annually.

That’s practically unheard of for an NFL color analyst. ESPN’s former Monday Night Football analyst, Jon Gruden, was the network’s highest-paid employee at $6.5 million year as of 2015. (Gruden is currently the head coach of the Oakland Raiders)

Nevertheless, both ESPN and Fox are looking to boost viewership after ratings fell substantially during the 2017 season.

“Peyton Manning is Tony Romo with a Super Bowl ring,” said a source. “This is a battle for the Midwest. He’s super-popular in the Midwest. He’s got this ‘Aw Shucks,’ thing down pat. The Mannings are the first family of football.”

Manning could also end up becoming a part-owner of an NFL team. Time will surely tell what lies ahead for the beloved QB.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 12: Host Peyton Manning speaks onstage at The 2017 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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Written by Pablo Mena