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Papa John’s blames the NFL for declining sales. But is that the whole story?

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Let’s face it, Papa John’s serves a subpar pizza, but they’re not the only ones. Their pizza is on the same level as Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and other cardboard crust and sawdust cheese products. So are their disappointing sales the result of the NFL or a more substantial issue within the company?

Papa John’s disappointed earning $.60 instead of their expected $.61 earnings per share for its 2017 Q3. Q3 does not include much of the results from this year’s NFL season. The bigger picture shows that in the last 12 months Papa John’s shares have fallen 17.35%.  Its direct competitors YUM! Brands and Domino’s have seen the opposite return. Compared to its competitors, Papa John’s has lower margins and is less ambitious in its expansion.

Furthermore, other players, from Uber to BWW, are jumping into the delivery game taking away a historically dominant industry advantage. Many restaurants are changing with the times as Americans are raising their standards in favor of higher quality food. McDonald’s is a well documented case study of a low quality restaurant trying to adjust to the times.

Papa John’s can blame the NFL for its shortcomings, and to many, this comes off as a scapegoat. However, Papa John’s also has a history of crediting its relationship with the NFL for its success.

Perspectives

Bloomberg: Papa John’s Blames the NFL for Hurting Pizza Sales

“The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction,” Schnatter, who serves as the pizza chain’s chairman and chief executive officer, said on a conference call. “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.”

It’s hard to quantify the connection between the NFL and pizza sales, but Papa John’s did post disappointing results in the latest quarter. Its shares fell as much as 13 percent on Wednesday — the most in two years — after same-store sales missed analysts’ estimates. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company also trimmed its revenue and profit forecasts for the year.

Schnatter has appeared frequently in advertisements during NFL games, including alongside star quarterback Peyton Manning, a franchisee of the chain’s restaurants in Colorado. Back in 2014, when Papa John’s posted a nearly 10 percent gain in North American same-store sales, the company credited its close relationship with the NFL and Manning for driving its business in the U.S.

“This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago,” Schnatter said on the call. “Like many sponsors, we’re in touch with the NFL. Once the issue is resolved, we’re optimistic the NFL’s best years are ahead.”

Hotair- Papa Johns: NFL’s Bad Leadership Is Damaging Our Bottom Line

One major NFL sponsor has started to get crusty about the impact of the national-anthem controversy on their business, delivering a piping-hot shot at the league’s big cheese. John Schnatter, familiar to fans as Peyton Manning’s foil in Papa John’s commercials, blamed disappointing third-quarter results on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in an investor call. Shares in the pizza maker fell 13 percent at one point today, and Papa ain’t happy.

It’s a direct hit on Goodell and his leadership team, and it comes at a bad time. The owners are working on a five-year contract extension for the commissioner on the basis of his negotiating prowess in TV contracts and collective bargaining agreements. Jerry Jones is spearheading an effort among owners to stop the extension

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Final Thoughts

Garbage fast food is having a tougher time than in years past. With so many local pizza shops that make a better pie, getting Papa John’s, Domino’s, or Pizza Hut is the wrong choice every time unless you’re feeding the masses of misbehaved screaming children. Football season is only five months of the year. The NFL cannot conceivably be at fault for the other disappointing seven months (using stock price as metric). There are other factors requiring additional articles as to why several chain restaurants are struggling to keep up. In keeping with the times, Papa John’s has continued riding the NFL tide. Yet with ratings down, Papa John’s has fewer people watching their high dollar advertisements. Less effective advertisements means fewer people ordering pizzas (in season).

With the five months of football season, Papa John’s expects its expensive relationship with the NFL to pay dividends. They are smart to see that the NFL is handling the protest situation poorly and weaken ties. The marketing dollars could be used in a more effective avenue. John Schnatter might be pointing fingers at a convenient target, but this target is not innocent.

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Entertainment and Sports

LeSean McCoy domestic violence accusation: the “Hold My Beer” of recent NFL player scandals

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Players getting into trouble off the field is nothing new for the NFL, but the accusations levied against LeSean McCoy on Instagram tops the accusations made and found true against the likes of Ray Rice, Michael Vick, Adrian Peterson, and countless others. This follows a recent arrest of former Seattle Seahawk, Brandon Browner, being charged with attempted murder. 

Shady McCoy is publicly accused of illegal drugs, PED, animal abuse, domestic abuse, and child abuse. The seriousness of the accusations alone could endanger his career. Like any person guilty or innocent, McCoy took to denying the accusations, claiming to have had no direct contact with them in months.

But the evidence is being gathered. Police say they are investigating a home invasion of the victim’s residence. So far, McCoy has not been named a person of interest.

Furthermore TMZ reports that the victim has lawyered up and named LeSean McCoy as the orchestrater of the attack. This changes the narrative from the original IG post, but in no way lessens the severity. As of now, McCoy stands accused of sending people to do this attack.

TMZ Report:

Delicia Cordon has hired attorney Tanya Mitchell Graham — who issued a statement saying Delicia was sleeping early Tuesday morning when a man entered her Georgia home and pistol whipped her.

Graham says the assailant demanded specific items of jewelry that had been given to her by McCoy — jewelry that McCoy had previously demanded she return to him. She claims the victim also sustained injuries to her wrist when the assailant tried to rip off her bracelet.

Graham claims before the incident, McCoy “would often suggest to Ms. Cordon that she could be robbed because the jewelry was expensive.”

Graham — who’s joined by associate attorneys Demetrius Price and Kiarra Brown — never straight-up accuses McCoy of criminal activity, but strongly implies it.

For example, Graham claims the assailant entered the house with NO signs of forced entry. She also claims McCoy changed the security system at the house and did not give Cordon access to the new one.

She also claims McCoy has a documented history of having other people do his dirty work for him — and references the time he allegedly ordered other people to evict her from his home in June and remove her furniture from the house.

Graham says despite the fact Cordon and McCoy have had a relationship since 2016, he has NOT called to check in on her since the details of the violent attack went public.

Final Thoughts

LeSean McCoy doesn’t have a reputation for being a model citizen. As Smitty of Barstool Sports notes:

The odds of Shady McCoy being guilty are high. That being said, the NFL doesn’t wait for due process. Otherwise Ezekiel Elliott wouldn’t have undergone a 6 game suspension. They will have to act as this scandal is prime to escalate and disrupt the storyline of the upcoming season.

Originally published on Startup Christ.

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Entertainment and Sports

NBA players choose collusion over competition

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In every other sports league, there is competition among the franchises. The NFL has new teams rising and falling every year. Baseball is a whole new season, come October. The NHL playoffs are perhaps the most exciting competition in all of sports. In college basketball, a 16 beat a 1. Yet in opposition to its fellow sports leagues, the NBA is entirely predictable.

The offseason has brought excitement with the long-anticipated relocation of LeBron James. But him landing in Los Angeles was the guess of most pundits amateur and professional. The Lakers are now a playoff contender barring injury. But even away from the Cavs, LeBron is still no match for Golden State.

Superteams are bad for sports

Having the best players fall on one team is fine and dandy when it is natural and done over time. The New York Yankees are among the top contenders in baseball. Contrary to stereotype, they are talented because they established an excellent farm system. It is completely fair for them to end up being the best (again). If Derek Jeter’s strategy works, the Marlins will turn themselves around.

The Warriors are a different story. Yes, they drafted well and traded well. But then they sign Kevin Durant, a top player. Then they sign DaMarcus Cousins, another top player. Cousins. Both of these players shamelessly sold out for the privilege of being on a winning team. Durant joining the Warrior is the equivalent of Ovechkin joining the Penguins. But he didn’t because he cares about his legacy and not his rings. Cousins was perhaps just as bad seeing as he took a deal well below his market value even if injured.

One cannot blame the Warriors for preserving their dynasty which increased the team value 19% in the last year according to Forbes. It’s good for their business, in a league where several teams can’t break past $20 million in operating income. But the league will suffer. The NBA has largely benefited from people enjoying the ride, but it’s inescapable how anticlimactic the end is. The Warriors win. The 2019 NBA finals is already similarly boring, in that, everyone who isn’t a hopeless dreamer already knows the outcome.

The NBA needs to save the competitiveness of its league. A handful of teams now compose the NBA, whilst the others are relegated to being developmental feeding grounds. Top players aren’t interested in rivalry with each other. Rather, they prefer to join forces even to the point of destroying the competition the league was known for. An NBA ring is depreciated in its value, at least if you are a Warrior. Yet players aren’t against colluding for a piece of jewelry at the expense of their honor. This fundamental cultural flaw won’t go away on its own. The NBA should strongly consider curbing this trend either through stricter salary caps or some other creative means.

So far they’ve been content to let ESPN dictate their trajectory and competitive strategy. It seems worth it to leave the elephant unaddressed so long as there’s a raging debate between Team Jordan and the Bronsexuals. Such contentment now has James in the same conference as the Warriors making 2019 a much less exciting finals.

Originally published on StartupChrist.com

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Entertainment and Sports

The AAF is the NFL’s newest worry

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Two months ago, the NFL’s long-term demise may have been spelled by the revival of the XFL. The XFL was initially a football league in 2001, but now Vince McMahon wants to revive it. While announcements about the XFL have been dormant since January, a new player is emerging and faster. The Alliance of American Football or the AAF has been formed and will play a 2019 season the week after the Superbowl.

The AAF, in contrast, Vince McMahon and the XFL have given more concise answers to the many questions asked. Make no mistake, the AAF is a substantially more potent threat than the XFL. The AAF not only is going to begin a year earlier but also has TV contracts ready with CBS. The AAF will also stream games and incorporate fantasy football.

The biggest reason the AAF is a threat is management. The AAF is founded by Charlie Ebersol, who has worked for the NFL and sports media. He even made a documentary as to why the 2001 XFL failed. The AAF also has a number of credible football players serving as executives and advisers. Among them are Hines Ward, Troy Polamalu, Jared Allen, and Justin Tuck. The AAF also has the legendary team builder and executive Bill Polian. A B-List idea with A-Team management is a recipe for success in business. This is why the AAF has garnered the backing of venture capitalist firms such Founders Fund featuring the country’s top VC, Peter Thiel ad Cherning Group.

The AAF during its announcement stated that it would fill a void where the NFL ends in February. In this void, many sports fans stop watching sports and stop participating in fantasy sports. The AAF also wants to reach the large pool of college football players who don’t wind up in the NFL. Other sports have multiple professional leagues in the NFL.

The AAF will have 8 teams, 10 games, and a two-week playoff. In eliminating injuries and maintaining excitement, the AAF is eliminating the kickoff, and will instead start the 25-yard line. For teams seeking an onside kick, will have 4th and 10 on their 35. The extra point is eliminated; teams have to go for 2. Teams will have two replays a game. To speed the game, the play clock will be 30 seconds, matching the increasing pace of the game. The AAF will also change the way players are compensated with win bonuses, stat bonuses, and fan engagement bonuses. On top of these bonuses, the league will also provide scholarships for their future off the field.

For fans, the tickets and concessions will be cheap. This is in sharp contrast to the NFL where tickets prices are rising even for mediocre teams. TV timeouts will also be done away with. Commercials will only take place during natural breaks. In April the cities will be announced. Note: they’ve already been decided, but they want us talking about it later, something that isn’t happening with the XFL.

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Takeaway

Unlike the XFL, the Alliance of American Football announced its existence with far more questions answered. While the Alliance didn’t touch on the National Anthem or criminal records, they also answered far more questions about their gameplay than Vince McMahon’s vague announcement. While the NFL has a complement in the Alliance of American Football, this alliance may in years to come be a fierce competitor. In the meantime, rather than being disruptive, Charlie Ebersol and his staff are focusing on being useful. This strategy is far more conducive to long-term success.

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