Pizza chain Papa John's named former basketball star Shaquille 'Shaq' O'Neal as its newest board member, brand ambassador and investor, sending shares of the troubled chain higher. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Shaquille O'Neal talked to TheStreet about his decision to join the board of Papa John's, why corporate diversity is important and his best and worst investing tips. Chairman Jeff Smith said the company is "thrilled to partner with Shaquille and welcome him to the Papa John's board. Shaquille has an excellent entrepreneurial background, including as a restaurant-franchise owner, and is a natural creative marketer." In addition to joining the board, O'Neal is investing in nine Papa John's franchises in his hometown of Atlanta and will serve as the company's "brand ambassador." The four-time NBA champion said in a statement that "I have truly enjoyed the high-quality Papa John's product for years and am excited to be able to help Papa John's raise their game to new heights. This is a triple-threat opportunity for me. I am excited to join the board and to help lead from the top while also investing in nine stores in my hometown [and] being an ambassador for the brand. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board and using my experience in business and community to build on the progress being made at Papa John's." O'Neal told TheStreet that he "fell in love with Papa John's in 1989." Related. Wall Street Builds Case to Buy Nike on Weakness How Much Money Will I Need to Retire? Want to learn about retirement planning from some of the nation's top experts? Join TheStreet's Robert "Mr. Retirement" Powell live in New York on April 6 for our Retirement Strategies Symposium. For a limited time, tickets are available for $99 for this full-day event. Check out the agenda, learn about the speakers and sign up here.
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