Peyton Manning Sells His Denver Papa John's Franchises

Collins said Manning would remain a spokesperson and ambassador for Papa John's as part of a previously reached long-term agreement.

The NFL's ratings tanked 9.7 percent last season, following an eight percent dip from the year before. That decision came after company founder John Schnatter blamed low pizza sales on NFL players protesting during the national anthem, because fewer people were ordering pizzas during games.

Retired NFL quarterback Peyton Manning jettisoned his Papa John's pizza franchises just days before the pizza chain and the NFL announced the end of their partnership.

Papa John's had been the official pizza sponsor of the National Football League for years, but the two organizations announced their joint decision to end that partnership last week. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company distanced itself from the group, saying that it did not want them to buy their pizza.

But Peter Collins, Papa John's spokesman, confirmed in an email that the former Bronco had sold his stake, which was part of a joint venture with Papa John's worldwide after "six successful and rewarding years", Collins said. Per McCarthy, "Manning also is interested in a John Elway/Derek Jeter-type role in which he runs/owns a sports franchise". "The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players' and [team] owners' satisfaction", he said in a conference call with investors.

According to Collins, Manning sold his stake to an existing franchisee who owned locations in various markets. Revenues for the quarter totaled $467,606,000, up from $439,619,000 reported in the fourth quarter of 2016.

"The NFL has been a long and valued partner over the years, but we are certainly disappointed that the NFL and its leadership did not resolve the ongoing situation to the satisfaction of all parties long ago", he continued.

  • Stacy Allen