The University of Louisville has renamed Papa John's Cardinal Stadium "Cardinal Stadium", the latest in the fallout since Papa John's International Founder John Schnatter admitted on Wednesday that he used a racial slur in a business conference call in May.
Shares in Papa John's were up more than 3.1% on Friday following the news of the branding overhaul, improving further on the gains made after it was announced that Mr Schnatter was departing as chairman.
While on a call with a marketing agency, John defended his comments about the National Football League, saying KFC didn't face backlash when "Colonel Sanders called blacks n--s", Forbes reported.
Although Schnatter has always been synonymous with the company's brand, Papa John's will stop using his image in advertisements, the Associated Press reported Friday.
Schnatter, who has naming rights of the stadium until 2040, supported her decision to remove his name from the stadium, Bendapudi said.
Keith Hollingsworth, a professor at Morehouse College's business department, said keeping Schnatter on marketing would be a signal to people that the company does not have a problem with his comments, or that it didn't think they were a big deal. Schnatter released a statement Wednesday apologizing, which said in part, "Regardless of the context, I apologize". The person was not aware of any plans to change the pizza chain's name.
The contract states that there are a few ways for the stadium's name to change, both relying on action from Schnatter.
"We understand that this comes with certain consequences and we have examined all of those, and this is our best decision to move forward", Bendapudi said.
Papa John's is the world's third-largest pizza chain, with more than 350 outlets in the United Kingdom and 4,900 restaurants worldwide. The promotion allowed baseball fans to get 40 percent off their order at Papa John's the day after any player hit a grand slam by using an online coupon code. Papa John's is now scrubbing Schnatter's image from its packaging and marketing materials.
A slice of cheese pizza at a Papa John's pizza shop in Quincy, Mass. He also spoke about his childhood in IN and said, there, people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died.
The University of Louisville's football stadium has a new name. While the decision to rename the stadium was effective immediately, Bendapudi was not sure when signage will be removed from the stadium.