Shaq is joining Papa John’s board of directors

**This image is for use with this specific article only** Papa John's has found its next spokesman: Shaquille O'Neal. But the company hopes Shaq can help Papa John's beyond hawking pizza.

Papa John’s has found its next spokesman: Shaquille O’Neal. But the company hopes Shaq can help Papa John’s beyond hawking pizza.

O’Neal, the NBA legend, will join Papa John’s board of directors. O’Neal will also invest in nine Papa John’s stores in Atlanta and become an ambassador for the brand in advertisements.

“Shaquille has an excellent entrepreneurial background, including as a restaurant franchise owner, and is a natural creative marketer,” said Jeff Smith, chairman of Papa John’s board of directors.

Papa John’s sales have declined for five straight quarters as the company struggles to recover from the fallout over founder John Schnatter’s use of a racial slur during a conference call. Schnatter resigned his role as chairman in July.

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